Word Of the Week #47: Detail

April 22, 2009 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #47: Detail 

Detail: careful attention to particular items.

You’ve probably heard the expression, “It’s not the big things that count, it’s the little things.” Are you as amazed as I am when someone is paying attention to the details, when you don’t suspect they are?

Attention to Detail

Attention to Detail

I had the wonderful experience of meeting my friend Andrea for dinner. She was in San Diego because she is the VP of Marketing for The Palm Restaurant chain and they are opening one here. She chose to dine at Oceanaire since they are located within two blocks of where The Palm will be and it is a high end restaurant.

The dining experience was wonderful. We had a very knowledgeable waiter and service was paced just perfectly. We expect that of a high end restaurant right? Well, the one detail that impressed me most, came from the busboy. When he was clearing my salad plate, I took my knife off the plate and placed it on the table. My experience is, nine out of ten times they take the knife and when your entree comes, you’re trying to flag someone down to get you another one.

As soon as he had cleared the table he returned with a fresh knife and took the dirty one. Bravo to the training team! You teach your staff the details! When I was opening restaurants one of the most effective tools I used was to ask my staff, “What doesn’t fit in the picture?” It allowed them to look at the table and see if there was anything else that needed to be removed. For example, Catsup doesn’t go with dessert. And of course the one thing you should never do, is take a plate or a glass without asking the guest if they are finished.

This week focus on paying careful attention to the details. By doing that you will create a more memorable experience for your customers, guests, and members. And isn’t that what we all want?

Reader Responses

“This was excellent. A quote I created many years ago was: “It is the little things that make the BIG difference.” It is actually what sets the four star properties apart from the five star properties. I believe Ritz Carlton does this best. Many of the big things always get done (for the most part anyway), but it is the little things that we always remember.  When I go to restaurants, hotels, and so forth, I am big about the details in the restrooms. What hand towels are they using, what types of soaps are they using, are the restrooms clean, etc., this tells me a lot about the quality of the establishment.” — Don E. Vance