You’d expect that since I’m a fast food employee, that I would side with the first article. Frankly, I think the first article was written from the perspective of a fast food employee that I’d prefer not to employ. Giving rules the way that the author does is a little bit ridiculous. These customers choose to spend money in our restaurants and they will not frequent a place that would purport to issue rules for its paying customers.
The place down the road doesn’t have rules. The customer will go there.
By contrast, the author of the second piece challenges managers to think about how their business is conducted. First, he talks about training, an issue near and dear to my own heart. Every word is true: fast food managers often do not train people correctly. They put the person into a position and let them go. This is a wrong that I am fighting to right.
Staff attitude is a very big deal. If employees are rude to customers, or if they act like the customers are less important than what happened last night at the club, customers pick up on that and are far less likely to come back to an establishment.
Conditions within the restaurant, both of equipment and cleanliness, are an indication of whether or not the staff actually cares. People who take pride in their jobs don’t work in filthy operating conditions.
Finally, leadership plays a role in all of the author’s points. Most of the managers that I’ve worked with are interested in passing the buck–“He was supposed to do it,” “I called for the fries, why didn’t you drop them?” or “He knows what his job is!” None of that matters. When you are the leader, the buck stops with you. When a breakdown occurs, accept responsibility and fix the problem. A former U.S. President had a plaque on his desk that said “The Buck Stops Here.” Managers should get that tattooed on their forehead.
There may well be some problems that the customer creates. But we can’t do anything about that. We can only solve what is under our control: training, attitude, environment, and providing the best leadership we can. When you think about it, there really is quite a bit under your control. Solve what you can, and try not to sweat the rest of it. And pray for the wisdom to know the difference.