Your Attention to Detail Makes or Breaks Your Business Old Fashioned cocktail sitting on a bar

Keep Your Eyes Wide Open

Keep Your Eyes Wide Open

If you’re leading a team, it is your responsibility to pay attention to detail and inspect what you expect, which means observing what your team is doing on a regular basis.

We arrived at the restaurant early because we wanted to sit at the bar, grab a cocktail, and watch March Madness before celebrating my birthday with a fabulous dinner. When we arrived, there were four seats at the bar, which meant we lucked out and could all sit together.

I asked the bartender if she made a whiskey sour with bar mix or real lemon juice. She replied that she made it with bar mix but could make it with lemon juice if I preferred. We were off to a good start.

She served my friend and me our whiskey sours, but something was off. She forgot to add simple syrup, and there was no maraschino cherry. I noticed someone else putting cherries in another drink, so I asked her if she would mind adding those two items to our drink, to which she replied, “No problem.”

What happened next shocked me.

She used her fingers to pull maraschino cherries out of the container and put them in our drink. I am pretty sure, but not 100% confident, that she had not washed her hands since handling money and other dirty drink glasses.

I started to observe what was going on behind the bar a bit more closely and found many things not up to standard when it came to cleanliness. Servers were wiping their noses, handling money, grabbing glasses by the rim folks drink from, and then picking up straws from the top without ever once stopping to wash their hands.

A germ freak’s worst nightmare.

Then, I saw a server who was serving in the restaurant area walk up to the bar and use her fingers to grab a lemon to put in someone’s water. The last straw was when one of the guys behind the bar grabbed a wad of chewing tobacco (I am not even joking) and stuck it in his mouth, and you got it, didn’t wash his hands.

I looked at my husband and said, “This place is disgusting. I don’t want to eat here.” We canceled our reservation and walked down to a place called The Palm where they make whiskey sours the right way. The first thing the bartender did was wash her hands.

Here’s the lesson:

We spoke to the manager, and he was in shock when we told him what was going on behind the bar and why we were leaving. He was in shock because he was not paying attention.

If you’re leading a team, it is your responsibility to inspect what you expect, which means regularly observing what your team is doing. This manager only needed to spend one minute looking at the bar, and he would have easily observed one guy go from using his fingers inside dirty glasses to handling clean ones the same way.

Your front-line team members make the first impression on every customer. If you’re not watching what’s going on, then it’s you who isn’t doing your job well, not only them. This lack of attention to detail will cost your business big time. It cost this restaurant likely close to $1500 for one table setting.


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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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