COMM 101C M/W 9-10:15AM
Blog Post 3: Interview of a professional career I’m interested in
Working in the restaurant industry for almost 4 years now has helped me develop and strengthen many of my communication skills. It has given me the opportunity to also become a certified in store trainer for the new employees hired. I enjoy this job because I enjoy people and talking with all different kinds of people. I also get the opportunity to work with dozens of different people who all come from different backgrounds and cultures. Not one of us is the same, however we do seem to all get along, most of the time. I have been with the same restaurant company, Famous Dave’s BBQ since I got the job in Tracy, CA during my senior year of high school. For this blog post I decided to interview my manager on what types of communication problems they face during their time of being a manager.
I asked my general manager Cheryl about how poor communication between her and her employees affects the job that has to be done. She said that one thing that’s very hard is trying to accommodate everyone’s different availability and days off they have requested. She said, “Of course I want to give people time off to do things they want or need to do, but sometimes it is hard due to specific restrictions of other people’s availability or people calling in sick.” Cheryl said that without communication nothing gets done that needs to be done. Cheryl said that one of her biggest issues is when people switch shifts with each other and do not call in to tell a manager or write it down in the shift exchange book. That is a lack of communication that is very upsetting and frustrating to her. Of course it doesn’t just end with her employees, communication between the other managers and her is also very important. She has to have weekly meetings with them to make sure they are making their orders for their particular sections of the restaurants correctly, making schedules correctly, giving everyone enough/equal hours. Without communication between them it makes her job even harder. She told me when she gives them a task, it is all about the follow up and making sure they are on track and where they need to be.
There are also different communication problems with guests that if a server/host/or any other employee is unable to fix on their own that she has to step in. She said, “There are so many times when a guest orders something that after they try it they really hate it and demand something else, or even demand it to be taken off their tab and I have to go over and smooth over the situation.” She also said, “When food is taking a long time or the wait to get a table is long many people get upset and ask for free appetizers or discounts on their food. It is my job to make the guest happy though, so I do my best to accommodate their wishes.” I asked her if she feels that she has a lot of power over her employees. Cheryl said, “I never feel that I am higher than anyone of my employees, we are all equal, we just have different responsibilities to take care of.”
A theory I think that relates with this line of work and one that I believe would help a restaurant manager in times when communication is low is Constructivism. It is important for our manager Cheryl to convey to us that our job as a whole has one main goal, making the guest happy. She always says, “It starts with you!” What she means is, we are the ones interacting with the guests and starting up conversations and catering to their needs. When something goes wrong we need to sympathize with our guest and put ourselves in their shoes, which is easy because everybody goes out to eat! SO, the primary goal is making the guest happy, we do this by having a friendly and approachable attitude, getting their food out on time, and cooked to perfection of course. In the end this makes for more returning guests and them bringing their friends and family back. I heard somewhere that a guest who has a bad experience is more likely to talk about that bad experience to others rather than if they had a good experience. The less bad experiences had at our restaurant the more good ones are being had and they keep coming back for more! I agree with my manager when she says, “It all starts with YOU!”