When you go to a coffee shop, movie theatre, boutique or restaurant. You normally aren’t thinking about what it takes to give you that experience. You arrive, pay, make your memories and might go back.
I just began working at a restaurant part-time. You begin to see what goes on behind the scenes of the establishment. The vision, preparation, and attention to detail that makes a customer want to come back.
There’s a quote that comes to mind, “A great entrepreneur gives people what they want before they ask for it.”
My experience on the first day was feeling welcomed. The restaurant opens at 5:30 pm and everyone is expected to get there by 4:30pm. The employees have a “family” meal together. Everyone talks and sits around a table together.
After the meal concludes, everyone gets together with the chef to try the specials. He explains every ingredient, where it comes from, and what the night’s dishes are. He talks about the sauces, nuts, spices and vegetables. The menu goes according to what’s in season. The chef buys the produce himself, usually from Amish Farmers in the area. My job as a hostess is to call all the reservations for the next couple of days to confirm their bookings. I am to keep a log of cancellations and seating walk-ins. Each reservation is pre-set with a table, time, name, and how many people will be in the party. It’s also the hostess’s job to walk around and mark the status of each seated table and if they are on their appetizers, entrees, or desert.This is to keep the waiters up to date on what is going on so that they are always in the know.
Sometimes VIPS arrive that need extra attention and complimentary items like a bottle of wine. The mood is set with lighthearted music in the background. The environment is always alive. Rustic at home feel, white brick walls. The chef inspects every dish because presentation counts before a customer is served.
Thinking of this business and how it all came together makes me realize how much work, vision, and details goes into it. A consumer needs reasons to pick a place. Why would they have dinner here? Is it how aesthetically pleasing it is, the organic food, incredible service, good music, an opportunity to enjoy oneself or a mixture of them all?
It takes people, training, leadership and lots of planning.
This is what I believe is the essence of entrepreneurship. The essence of attracting a crowd. Attracting a certain clientele that expects a specific experience. It was all planned. However, the planning did not stop at the opening of the restaurant; it continued to grow, like all great businesses. Entrepreneurship takes artistry, creativity and planning. Perfecting your craft. With failure and experience. Continuously discovering with trial and error. Creating a brand the entrepreneur and consumers are passionate about. It doesn’t come overnight. It takes practice, failing, learning, and interchanging roles. Going into it for the right reasons and using practicality. Most importantly, organizing people and taking the time to properly train them.
As an aspiring entrepreneur. What to study can be your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, bar, film or business of interest. The memories and joy they gave you. Pay attention. With that said, in your own business, you can see what you can offer to the world. Service the world. Giving the customer what they want before they ask for it.
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