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Quality is in the Details

When you first started in your present position, you probably paid great attention to details, keeping everything spotless and running like a well-oiled machine. Is it still that way? If not, you’re not alone; it’s common for attention to detail to deteriorate over time. Details have nemeses, and they include time, accomplishment, and familiarity. It’s only human nature to start ignoring the little stuff when you’re busy or when things are going well. As tasks become routine and we take our own expertise for granted, we become so familiar with the place that we stop seeing the errors. But while getting a bit careless is natural, it can also have ominous consequences.

In most jobs and businesses, neglecting details will not cost you customers and, in turn, profits. One deceptively simple but incredibly effective tool for keeping yourself and others focused on details is the checklist. That checklist can be used to prevent accidents ranging from minor annoyances to fatal errors in every imaginable setting. In restaurants, for instance, data show that using checklists to ensure QSC can dramatically reduce poor quality, service and cleanliness.

Here’s what a service checklist might look like for a typical restaurant business: