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Do Your Servers Understand the Magic Minute?

As a customer, we all know what tends to happen to our mood when after being seated we wait and wait to be recognized by someone.

A good rule of thumb, is for your guests to be greeted within 60 seconds after being seated. Any longer than a minute and the potential for irritation and frustration increases geometrically with each passing second.

During a service program I was conducting, a lady told me how a manager had impressed upon her the importance of recognizing that magic minute. One afternoon the manager got all the servers together for a meeting and just before it started, dashed out to get something in his office. He returned and asked each person to write down how long they had been waiting for him to return. Most servers wrote down 4-5 minutes or more when in fact he had gone exactly "one minute."

A person's perception of time can be very different from reality. Especially when you're waiting, wondering if you've been forgotten, time can seem to creep by very, very slowly.

What a simple, yet brilliant way to demonstrate how important it is to greet and recognize every guest's presence as quickly as possible, within one minute after being seated. After a minute, the magic of the moment starts to wear off and the mood at the table starts to turn downward.



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