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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:

  1. Parking lot, and front entrance are spotless and clean.

  2. Main entrance maintained properly and free from cigarette butts.

  3. Employees wearing clear and visible name tags.

  4. Lighting is at appropriate level.

  5. Music level is set for talking and hearing.

  6. POP materials displayed perfectly.

  7. Restrooms are spotless, clean and smell fresh.

  8. Liquid gel-soap refilled.

  9. Back area clean and organized.

  10. Staff lockers and break room clean.

  11. American coffee has been freshly brewed and ready to be served.

  12. Iced Tea has been freshly brewed and ready to be served.

  13. Newspapers in the Foyer are current and stacked properly.

  14. Reach-in chillers have appropriate temp.

  15. Fryers temp set.

  16. Griddle temp set.

  17. Cold and Hot sauces are within below danger zone.

  18. Cash register ready for returning change.

  19. AC level is appropriate.

  20. Menu sleeves are clean.

  21. Salt & Pepper shakers are refilled.

  22. Tables are clean with full setup.

  23. Walk-in freezers organized.

  24. FIFO & Use First labels on prepped items.

  25. Kitchen equipment and utensils clean and ready.

  26. Dishwasher rinse and wash temps are current.

  27. Soda machine is properly calibrated and ready for shift.

  28. Ice-bins are clean and restocked.

  29. No busted lights.

  30. Hand-gel refilled.

  31. Baseboards clean

  32. Napkin dispensers restocked.

  33. Windows are clean.

  34. POS is purged and ready for business day.

  35. Credit Card wireless devices fully recharged.

  36. Guest Feedback wireless devices fully recharged.

  37. Brochures holder restocked with proper LSM tools.

  38. Dumpster area clean and maintained properly.

  39. Grease traps maintained.

  40. Vents dust free.

Complete a daily operations walkabout within and beyond your four-walls with a clipboard. Make note of every detail that is not quite right and immediately set about making corrections. Your employees may think you’re compulsive at first, but they’ll quickly learn to respect your attention to detail and to emulate it. They say that the attention is in the details. Well in restaurants business that’s true only if you neglect them. If you pay attention to those details, it will pay off in better service, higher profits and returning guests.

“Quality is all about taking care of the details”
“Quality is everyone’s responsibility“

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