By Jeff Kimbell
Director of Dining Services
Danny Meyers, one of the restauranteurs I admire most, once said that “A great restaurant does not distinguish itself by how few mistakes it makes, but rather by how well it handles those mistakes.”
I think what Danny was saying is what I know to be true. The restaurant business is complicated and there will be times when the guest experience is not what we would like it to be. However, I believe the key to success is using what you learn from challenging times, then building a plan that provides a roadmap for getting better and better each day.
Our improvement plan is built primarily on feedback from residents. The feedback we receive is consolidated into a global resident satisfaction action plan that contains specific strategies that we believe will be impactful in helping us improve your dining experience. Typically, these strategies align directly with the pillars of Signature Dining: Quality, Variety, Temperature, and Service.
We believe that it is difficult for any program to be truly successful unless it is designed with the customer in mind. This is why a critical component of our resident satisfaction plan includes having regular resident focus groups to help us guide new menu decisions. To help us resolve guest service issues, we have implemented a Service Excellence Task Team consisting of assistant general managers from each restaurant. The group meets weekly to review feedback regarding service concerns in order to develop comprehensive solutions.
We also believe that it can be a challenge to execute a more complicated Signature Dining program unless we have the right staff. To make sure our culinary team is equipped to meet the challenges of Signature Dining, we have implemented a robust recruitment and training strategy that includes hiring new team members who are familiar with restaurant style cooking, and ensuring that those who have been with us for a while have been thoroughly trained.
Like most good plans, ours is a living document that will continue to evolve as we identify ways to get better and better. Bon appètit!