Defining Moment of Truth

86 restaurant term

It seems that, with the proliferation of food TV (a good thing!)and social media, almost anyone with a recipe- or an idea for a recipe-  has license and can jump into our business and become “famous”. BUT, there are certain tenets to being in our amazing industry that must be followed or a significant lack of consumer confidence will follow. 

Without trying to seem trite, in service training these days we might have forgotten the old adage: “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”.The other day, I had flown back to South Florida from the West coast on a red-eye. Landed early and jumped into meetings almost immediately, forgetting to eat most of the day as I trudged through my agenda. 

I had a 2pm meeting for which I arrived about 20 minutes early and realized I was starving. My appointment was at a location that was next to a gas station with one of those TV cake-making chefs that set up shop next door. 

Ok- when I first ate at one of these- and I don’t eat at  gas stations, ever- my son was shocked that my wife could talk me into it and it was quite good. Shockingly good.

So, I stroll in at exactly 1:46pm and the woman working the counter is on the phone. You think to yourself “she’ll look up and acknowledge my mere existence in a moment” but, in the meantime, I can peruse the menu. The menu had one item on it- a daily special, which on that day was a Chicken Parmesan sandwich- not my thing, but STARVING!  

So, I wait and wait. Now it’s principle. It’s 1:56 when she hangs up, never having acknowledged me and looks right past me. I’m the not the only one in the place but the other two appear to be waiting for someone to show up.

So, running out of time, I ask her for the special and she tells me “we never made any today but are making soup and it should be done soon”. I laugh and walk out. They will never hear from me again.  

No wonder our industry is suffering from a rep problem. Anyone who ever opened up a box of Duncan Hines or opened a roll of chocolate chip cookie dough can be on TV these days and THINK they can run a business. Just like you should need a license to be a parent, you should need one to go into business.  ( – :


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