Continuing our series on my luck in finding a great mentor today. When Mike first took over the restaurant I worked at in college, it was struggling. In fact, I remember when I was working in a different business downtown and I rarely went for lunch. The funny thing is, I actually really liked the food and ambiance. The reason I didn't go is that a couple of times I had walked (in oppressive North Carolina heat) only to find it closed. Monday afternoon not open? I guess sometimes when business was slow they would adjust the hours. I honestly didn't think much of it, but..... it did float off my radar when making choices about restaurants. When I actually started working at the restaurant, I remember some insanely slow Tuesday nights. I remember a server or someone asking, 'why are we even open? No one is here. Aren't you just throwing money in the garbage'. His reply was quick and simple. 'The reason no one is here is because people lost confidence that we would be here. By not creating and sticking to normal convenient hours, we trained people to be leery. That isn't the case any more. We will work the posted hours, regain confidence and they will come.' I remember one busy Friday night we had to '86' one of the specials. To 86 means take it off the menu and tell the guests we had sold out of that special or regular menu item. Mike did not like that. I remember an almost unspoken conversation between Mike and the head chef and the message was clear. We don't run out of specials. I really don't think we ran out of much other than festival weekends the rest of my time there. The message was simple. We will consistently deliver what we promise at any cost. If it means we have to over order food and work hours with few to no customers, that is what we will do. At ShiftZen, we are using the same principles. Over that last few months we have had over 99.99999 percent uptime with our hosting and servers. We are hosted on servers in Texas that are actually submerged in oil to keep them cool and running fast. A lot of people would say that is overkill for our scheduling software, but why not provide the best to our clients now? It really doesn't cost a lot more and we know you will remember it. And recommend. And renew. We retain close to 100% of our customers month over month and the ones that leave generally go out of business. Our investment is a smart business choice just like Mike was smart to be open on those slow Tuesday nights.
He was right by the way. It got busy....... really busy.