Tell us a little bit about your “ABCD” (Always Be Collecting Dots) policy?
Meyer: Dots are information. We hear a lot about the business need to “Connect the dots.” But unless you’ve turned over every rock–working athletically to collect information–there just won’t be many dots to connect. ABCD is my way of encouraging our staff members to learn as much as they can about our guests and the world so that we can create even stronger strands of loyalty and constantly make new friends for our restaurants. Taking an extra interest in people goes a long way.
This applies to any business that deals with the public – hospitality counts, and not just when it comes to serving food and drink. The individuals best suited to collecting and connecting dots are the folks who talk with your customers every day. Support staff serve as an essential hinge between the development process and the consumption process; service staff can be a huge resource if you let them.
Meyer is an inspiration to me, and anyone working any sort of support or service should read his book, Setting the Table. I wrote about another interview with him a while back.