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Shoppers Reports and Unit Audits

NFC works within your systems and specifications to provide objective feedback on your operation.

Weíve all read the restaurant critic reviews in the newspapers. Frightening as it may seem our potential customers see these as credible representations of our businesses. Granted certain basics of service and operations must be the same throughout foodservice. A server must always return to the table after serving the meal to seek the guests approval or desire for correction of food and beverage items (call back). When this doesnít occur the server has failed. Food that is extremely different than how it is represented on the menu is incorrect and the restaurant has failed (truth in menu). These are examples of basic food and beverage operations that can be critiqued appropriately by a stranger to your business without specific knowledge of your operationís standards and systems.

The goal of a successful foodservice operation should be to meet or exceed the expectations of the guest. The only way to adequately determine if this has occurred up to the operatorís standards is through observation. We know that employees who are not compliant with the operationís standards will generally modify their behavior when they are aware of being observed.

The key then is observation occurring under conditions when the staff is unaware of the observation. The validity of the observation is when the person who is conducting the observation actually being aware of the standards, recipes and systems of the business. These are the areas outlined by your training materials, menus, manuals etc.

Many of us have been victims throughout the years of a critic who publishes an article which is negative of service or product when the items noted bear no resemblance to what was actually being served at the time of the review. (come on now, you canít be a credible reviewer when you canít tell the difference between broccoli and cauliflower or the difference between cheese sauce and hollandaise sauce). Sometimes one would think that they mixed up their notes from two different reviews and just began typing. On one occasion we discovered that the reviewer (who knew nothing about food) sent in her food spies two days before she went to the restaurant. You can imagine how inaccurate the information was when the spies tried to relate their experiences to the reviewer (writer actually). Ultimately this provided the restaurant a damage control situation and no valid input as to what was occurring in their operation.

This doesnít occur using our shopperís service. We review with you the specifications, recipes, and all areas that you would like critically reviewed, before we conduct the audit. Our report provides specific input based upon your operation. If requested we can send in an observer without any specific knowledge of your property but detailed knowledge of the food and beverage industry to give the first impressions of an experienced diner without the bias of knowing the intricacies of your business.

We also suggest a shopper spot the top performers who are doing everything right and going above the required level of service to provide an exceptional experience for the guests. The reward of these individuals helps keep the audit process positive for the staff. Positive shoppers can have a large impact in the service levels as has been evidenced by a fast food operator in the Southwest who implemented this program. (He also effectively cornered the fast food employee labor market in his neighborhood).

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