Even If You Only Help 1 Person

He is an 8 year Army Airborne veteran with 145 jumps and received 4 promotions. Immediately after being discharged he started his modest culinary career learning multiple cooking styles, trained other cooks and now currently works manning an action station in the middle of the dining room taking orders directly from the customers.

Even If You Only Help 1 Person

He’s a team player, customer focused and willing to help others. Just the kind of person any company should want to hire.

I’ve had a long standing relationship with a culinary school in New York City as an adjunct instructor for their hospitality program. Spending time with these students is extremely rewarding, especially when they share their hopes and dreams of why they wish to enter the challenging hospitality industry.

Recently I taught a 4 day program of professional development for this class with the topics of resume building, cover letters, building a 30 second elevator pitch, job searching and interviewing skills, all in the hopes of helping them to land their first/next job.

Due to various reasons, on one of these days, only 1 student arrived for class. Frankly, my first reaction was frustration;

“How am I expected to teach only 1 student?”

I thought this was going to be a waste of time but boy was I wrong!

As I sat down with this Army veteran to plot out a series of steps in the hopes of turning his resume into an “action-packed” and powerful representation of his skills and experience I realized (more…)

This is Why You Should Never Thank Your Audience

...a public speaking tip

After joining Toastmasters International, and completing one of my first speeches, my ending line was to “thank” the audience. Saying thanks after a speech is a “usual” and traditional ending. My mentor and the founding member of the club quickly gave me some wise advice:

You Should Never Thank Your Audience

“Never thank your audience”.

I asked why… (more…)

Here Are 3 Steps You Need to Increase Employee Engagement

Today’s guest post is from Annabelle Rigby. She discusses 3 simple and easy-to-implement steps to increase the engagement of your workforce.

Employee engagement is essential to any successful business, allowing for a better exchange between employees and supervisors. Studies show that employees who feel engaged are more productive and satisfied with their jobs.

Increase Employee Engagement

Here are 3 steps you can take in your company to help keep employees motivated, and improve the efficiency and success of your business.

1. Let Them Know They Have a Voice

Regardless of whether it’s in the workplace, at home, or even in the grocery store, everyone wants to feel like they have a voice and that their opinions are valued by others. You can foster employee engagement by creating an environment within your business that encourages your employees to speak up and let you know what they think.

Listening to their concerns about everything from the work environment, to certain procedures and policies, and even customer feedback will allow you to paint a better picture of your business, and determine what works and what doesn’t. It will also affirm to your employees that they are valued members of the team and that they are capable of positively impacting their workplace.

Your employees are the face of your business - listen to them. Click To Tweet

It’s likely you’ll gain inspiration and receive some helpful advice if you encourage them to share their opinions and voice their concerns. (more…)

Social Media Won’t Make You Smarter, So Why Do It?

...the Kardashians of the world never put food on YOUR table

We read statements like these all the time – connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook page…blah, blah, blah. Seems like people use social media more to boost their ego than to get to know those they connect with. So why bother?

Social Media Won't Make You Smarter

“How many Instagram followers do you have”? “Did you see my latest Snapchat?” “I just posted another of my videos to YouTube, you gotta check it out”. Does it really matter?

When we “connect” or “follow” someone are we more interested in learning something new or to have easy access to the latest gossip? Our desire to attract “likes” perpetuates a false reality when thinking a bigger “circle of influence” makes you more important.

It reminds me of what Bette Midler said in the movie Beaches: “Enough about me, what do YOU think about me?”

Now, I must admit that, since I am relatively new to social media I did spend more time initially “building my network” than paying attention to who I connected with. I thought I “needed” to have a large following or connect with everyone who asked? But what did that get me? I’m still trying to figure that out.

Over the past few months I’ve taken a different approach: (more…)

13 Powerful Job Interview Tips You Need to Know Now

The dreaded job interview, everyone hates them.  But here’s the key to having a great interview – you must show how, based on your past proven experience, you (over anyone else) can bring value to the company.  Here’s some information your next boss will want to know:

Job Interview Tips

1. Is this someone we want to work with for years to come?

2. Is this someone who can fix the problems we are having in this department?

  • If so, how?  You must explain specific situations where your experience/skills have overcome situations that have cost your previous company money, or provided poor customer service

3. Can he/she bring the same success he has shown in the past to our company?

  • Does he have an action plan that is easy to replicate?  Can he do it here?

4. What measurable benefits have you brought to your past employers? (more…)

He’s So Darn Good The Competition Wants to Steal Him

...take that as a badge of honor!

The moment I entered the door he looked at me and smiled. “Good morning, welcome to Dunkin’ Donuts. Are you looking for a great cup of coffee today?” the attendant said.  He already had me smiling.  “Yes please” I answered.

The Competition Wants to Steal Him

This is not a promotion for Duncan Donuts.  It’s just to acknowledge a great employee that works at one of its many stores.  It’s a privilege to have great employees.  When your competition tries to lure them away from you, take that as a badge of honor.  You know they’re good. Your competition knows they’re good. And best of all your customers know they’re good. That’s why they keep coming back for more.

Unless you sell such a unique product or service that you cannot find anywhere else: Your customers come back to your business for one reason - they enjoy doing business with you. Click To Tweet

Maybe your store is an architectural gem or has the latest technology. Maybe it’s located in the trendiest part of town or owned by the hottest celebrity.  That’s great but that’s not enough. The employees are the lifeblood of any business.

Hire the best and pay them well. Train them until their skills are second to none. Click To Tweet

(more…)

I’m a Waiter, Not a Salesman!

Customers appreciate your positive attitude. They prefer to buy from those they like and those that have their best interest at heart. Here’s a post adapted from my book that shows it works in the restaurant industry.

Assume the sale. This is one of those phrases that is drilled into the head of any good salesperson. “They will love our product, I know they will. Just keep listing all the benefits of our product, and they will have to buy it. So, just assume that you will make the sale and ask them for their order,” says the hungry sales manager boss.

I'm a waiter, not a salesman

Well, I don’t want you to be a hungry sales guy, at least not at this point. But I do want you to assume the sale. Here’s what I mean.

Those well-spoken-of and restaurant industry standard “two minutes or two bites” has quickly passed as you make your way to table #22. As you reach there, you scan the plates to see if the four guests are enjoying their meal.

You say something like this:

  • “Is everything okay”?
  • “I hope you are enjoying the salmon”

No, no, man, that’s all wrong. It’s the worst way to check on a guest. Don’t you know that everything is okay? Were you paying attention? Why would you “hope” they like their salmon? This leaves doubt in the mind of the customer.

If you really were paying attention you would have (more…)

Dare to Dream Big: A New Employee Success Guide

Countless studies have shown that the key to a successful employee, one who excels at his/her job, is motivated to perform at his peak and one that will have the best interest of the company at heart, is a properly run and dedicated new employee onboarding and orientation program.

New Employee Success Guide

During my career I have been personally responsible for the development and facilitation of new employee orientation classes, one-on-one training/coaching sessions and evaluation of existing standard operating procedures to ensure peak performance.

Yes, there are the usual topics and development structures that must be enforced along with the company policies, procedures and overall expectations.  But…

Is your new hire orientation class enough to motivate a new employee? Click To Tweet

Probably not.

Then, how do you ever expect to provide the great customer service we always talk about?

The first few days of a new hire are usually a blur; too much to learn and (more…)

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Like Change

...you've got big shoes to fill if you want to be the boss

They just hired some hotshot new manager…thinks he’s going to shake-up the place.  Maybe, maybe not.  Only time will tell.

Reasons Why You Don't Like Change

He lines his office walls with photos, awards and commendations from local newspapers and businesses.  His desk is covered with assorted trinkets and babbles.  The place looks like a shrine to himself.  What’s with this new guy?

Fancy suits, crisp shirts and the biggest wrist watch you’ve ever seen.  Are you expected to bow or genuflect when you enter his office? You hear some of your coworkers saying; “Look, here’s another suit gonna to tell us what to do.”

You already don’t like him…

OK, ok, you know your supposed to give the new guy a chance.  After all, he IS the boss.  But what can he do, what can he teach me, let me see him in action, you say.

You’re a firm believer that respect is a two way street and only goes so far without proof you can do the job.  Don’t try to change the place, don’t expect me to jump through hoops just because you want to do things differently.  Blah, blah, blah…

See a problem here?

How resistant are you to change?  It’s a part of life whether you wish to believe it or not.  Bosses come and go.  Some leave their mark (good or bad) and others go unnoticed.  But you’ve got to give them a chance.

Being resistant to change is not a sign of leadership. Click To Tweet

If you ever expect to be “the boss” one day yourself you must come to grips with the “ever-changing” world of business.

You’re probably afraid of: (more…)

Why You Can’t Be a Perfectionist Forever

...are your expectations too high?

One of the challenges faced by a perfectionist is longevity.  When we are younger and have energy to burn, we can relentlessly work through exhaustion and jump through hoops daily to achieve the perfection we seek.

be a perfectionist

Usually this perfection is attained solely from our personal labor since “no one else can make it perfect but me”.

But as we move through time we slow down, slow down enough to the point where we don’t have an unlimited supply of energy, not enough time can be spent away from our family or illnesses arise that supply the setbacks of life.

This is when the perfectionist wished that he/she had (more…)