IHOP Restaurant and the Almost Hidden Text Message

Last week I stopped into the local IHOP Restaurant with my wife to get a quick lunch.  Nothing fancy just a burger or two.  The food was fine, service quick and waiter mostly attentive.  But then a funny thing happened…

We were seated towards the rear of the restaurant and off to the side nearest the kitchen.  Not necessary an optimum seat for a window view but adequate enough to see my server standing behind the etched glass partition that separated two sections of the restaurant.

I wondered why she was just standing there when she obviously has a full section of tables to tend to.  Was she looking over the orders for her tables?  Was she speaking with her manager that was out of my line of sight?  Was she with a guest at another table?  What was she doing?  Texting on her phone – that is what she was doing!

What has happened to the work ethic, and frankly the common sense, of today’s young workers that they think it is acceptable to stand “out on the floor” of a restaurant and send text messages during their shift?  What has happened is that the work ethic is quickly crumbling.

Customer service is not what it used to be.  Customers have become a bother to many in the service industry.  We just want to work our 8 hours and go home.  And hope that no one complains.

Management has become too afraid, or lazy, to uphold company standards.  In many corporate quick serve restaurants (QSR), the management is bogged-down with completing corporate-mandated reports and following staffing guidelines, as their primary means of judging performance, that they are not focusing on the performance that really counts…the performance of their staff in addressing the needs of their customers.

This is not an attack on the waitress but more of an acknowledgement that we still have a long way to go in our industry in order to provide the mindset of customer service and attentiveness in our staff.

At least go in the back room and out of view of the guests if you have to send that text!  
Only kidding.