TRAINING COMMON SENSE

Last night I went to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for “Food Fare”.  The event is an annual fundraiser for Planned Parenthood and draws a pretty affluent crowd.  Restaurants, wineries, ice cream parlors, and even Pink’s Chili Dogs (I went to see their setup for our food & music fest) serve all the food and drinks for one price…and do a good job dealing with the volume I might add.  As an example, Pink’s Tom West introduced me to Don from “Dandy Don’s”. 

Don is a great guy.  Actually worked in the record business back in the day.  But what blew me away most was his people.  I went to his booth without him.  Don’s staff knew what they were doing.  They were friendly, organized, and had pre-scooped their ice cream.  This may sound like a stupid thing to notice, but believe me, at a festival or event, it makes all the difference.  The super-nice woman who I spoke to explained that not only does it make serving customers faster… and  make sure servers’ arms don’t fall off, but also keeps their product’s consistency stable.  When a customer gets their ice cream, it is at just the right temperature.  Their ice cream is supposed to be hard and “you can’t really scoop hard ice cream.” 

While speaking with Don and Tom by a back door I witnessed the opposite of the above.  Common sense went right out the window.  You see, this event has been happening for years and those that work the show always use a door closest to the booths and parking.  An elderly woman came to the door wearing her name tag and towing two handcarts full of stuff.  The security person working the door told her she had to go around to the front.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!  Don, Tom and I start giving the security guard shit…and she let the woman in.  Boy was the security guard pissed at us.  I asked her to call her supervisor over to discuss it, but she didn’t. 

My point here is simple.  When training your staff, make sure they know to use their common sense in certain situations and throw rule books out the window.  The security guard at the door worked for an outside vendor…didn’t represent the event.  The public doesn’t know this.  It is the event producer’s responsibility to make sure all the staff, even those not on their payroll, that sometimes breaking the rules is the right thing to do. 

Speak with you soon…

Jim

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