I recently started a job waiting tables at a breakfast place in Carmel. A few weeks back, we had an absolutely terrible series of operational calamities. The kitchen was dramatically understaffed, key inventory was low, and we could not keep up. At one point ticket times ran to an hour, meaning that patrons who ordered food wouldn’t be eating for at least sixty minutes.
I had two tables get up and leave without paying for drinks and appetizers, disgusted with the wait. One of them cursed at me. The restaurant gave away meals and all of us apologized profusely. But angry comments still rolled in on social media. It was awful.
The eatery has only opened a few weeks before that, so the likely cause was simply growing pains. But I do think often about the diners who were unlucky enough to come in that day. Will they give us a second chance? Or are we burned for life?
A business marketing expert once told me that: “Word of mouth is always working. It might be working for you or against you, but it is always working.”
I accept that some people do not like me and would say bad things about me if asked. Some might volunteer them. But that is part of this process. I need you to talk about me. I need word of mouth to be working.
Not because of my ego, mind you, but because of the size of this project. For hundreds of thousands of people to fill in the bubble next to my name, those people need to hear that name. And if they hear it from you, that’s going to mean a lot more to them than if I interrupt their day with a paid advertisement.
And if they think I can’t be trusted, okay. I get it. I’ve had bad days. But I believe every person (and every restaurant) deserves a second chance. Because we are all still new. And we are all still growing.
So if you know me, talk about me. And if you don’t (which is obviously about million times more likely) then ask others about me.
I believe there are better days ahead. But only if we give each other a chance.