Even strong reputations are flimsy.
One negative happening, and the whole pack of cards comes tumbling down.
Everybody follows the rules, does everything right – then some dumbo comes along and ruins everything.
Usually the one person nobody can control.
Because of the myth that they’re always right.
Only this time they’re as wrong as it’s possible to be.
That all-powerful, untouchable king of business – the customer.
The one person who can shoot reputations to pieces better than anybody.
The customer is always… dangerous
With dirty hands.
By leaving ugly paw prints all over everything.
Grab, fumble, tarnish – another reputation shot.
Greasy fingerprints on crystal glassware. Smears on polished bodywork. Dark stains on pristine linen.
And the ones you can’t see. Germs all over menus, cutlery and serving dishes – a food poisoning nightmare.
Next thing, it’s them – or other customers – complaining of stomach cramps, running to the loo, and barfing all over the carpet before they get there.
Nothing to do with you. It’s them.
The germs on their fingers are theirs – brought in after touching goodness knows what. Invisible, but dicey just the same. Possibly even deadly.
Always innocent – gets away clean
But guess who takes the hit?
Never them, the customer is king. Or more accurately in the food business, the customer is god.
So, taken ill after a night out – it can only be the restaurant. Dodgy ingredients, improperly prepared, sloppy personnel hygiene, dirty utensils – nobody has a leg to stand on. Solicitor on speed dial.
One finger accusing, three fingers pointing back.
Lost licence, closure, law suits, bank withdrawal, business collapse, HUGE money losses. And all because Fred Nurk didn’t wash his hands before eating. What kind of defence do you have against that?
And how many OTHER customers represent the same kind of risk?
The dirty truth
Pretty well all of them when you start looking.
- 62% of men and 40% of women NEVER wash their hands after going to the toilet.
- 95% of people don’t even wash their hands properly.
- Only 12% of people wash their hands before eating.
Not good odds – ask the people who know.
They’re supposed to be on the ball, but how many actuaries would accept any eatery’s risk if they knew 88% of customers NEVER wash their hands before eating? Lots of rules for businesses to follow, none for customers. Where’s the justice?
And those are just the day-to-day instances – with nobody thinking about anything.
So how long will it be before it gets tried here at home? And how many reputations have gone down the tubes because some smart operators have got away with it already?
Yeah, so Reputational Protection No 1.
Have your serving staff go round every table before handing out menus. Make a ceremony of it if necessary, but have them politely but firmly squirt antibacterial gel into the hands of everyone present.
Now at least your menus should be safe. And unless they go they go to the loo mid-meal, your customers should be safe from themselves for the evening.
Follow that up with Reputational Protection No 2.
Sterilise the whole place as often as possible – at least every night after closing. Which means mist it up with ionised hydrogen peroxide, so all viruses and bacteria are neutralised. No germs to catch, no tummy upsets to take away.
Do it. There’s too many business reputations already in the wrong hands – including yours. So it’s worth every penny to take it away from them and regain control for yourself.
Like we said, even strong reputations are fragile things.
No point running risks with them when you don’t have to.