Pizza Today - August 2018 - 22

At Your Service

PAUL PAZ

the guest complete their explanation
of what they need or what problem
they want solved. Apologize for the
inconvenience, even when it isn't your
fault. If there is no immediate remedy
the employee can deliver, teach them to
get a manager involved. Do this with a
sense of service and not as an issue of
the guest being a problem.
When you cannot accommodate
the request, provide a reasonable
explanation as to why. Perhaps an
item is out of stock or no longer on
the menu and you don't have the
ingredients to duplicate the product.
The request may include an extra
charge, which is quite reasonable when
additional product is to be added. "No"
is fine as an answer if the request is
illegal, such as a minor asking for a
beer.
ASK THE GUEST, "HOW CAN WE
HELP YOU?" That is an opportunity for

The Art of Saying No
Sometimes you have to deny a customer request
- but do it tactfully

I

n the classic movie, "Five Easy
Pieces," there is a memorable
scene with Jack Nicolson trying
to get toast with his breakfast (search
it on YouTube - it is a great customer
service training tool). While the
waitress argues that "it's not on the
menu", all the ingredients were available
to meet the simple request.
Too often our good guest service
interactions are spoiled by a lack of
empathy and compassion. This can
be especially damaging when having
to tell a guest no to a request. One
contributing factor is a lack of training
on how to deal with common negative
moments. This is especially challenging

2 2 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8

personally when the staff are under
extreme pressure due to no fault of their
own (short staffed, equipment failure,
etc.)
Most of the time guest requests that
stray from the menu are simple and
easily accommodated. Staff need to
be empowered to adjust appropriately
to shift the guest visit from customer
service to a customer experience.
Rather than confronting a guest with
the terminal "we can't do that," start
with some basic soft skills. Smile and
always include the words "please" and
"thank you." These show respect for the
guest and are essential to setting the
tone for a civilized engagement. Let

the guest to express any preconceived
resolution that they may have already
had in mind. That can lead to an
opportunity of a great guest experience
by accepting their resolution. Offer
alternatives for satisfactory resolution,
as well.
Over the years I have learned that
the immediate and long-term reward
for the business is finding a way to say
yes. And at times that includes some
hoops to jump through to make it
happen. In the end it's worth it.
But when no is the answer, we must
make it as logical and gentle as possible
for our guests. Because we offer service,
not excuses.
In the words of Dr. Maya Angelou:
"People will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did -but
people will never forget how you made
them feel."
How you treat guests when having
to say no determines whether they'll
return to your pizzeria. n


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Pizza Today - August 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - August 2018

Pizza Today - August 2018
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
At Your Service
Destinations
Knead to Know
Road to Ppne ‘18
2018 Independent Pizzeria of the Year: Empire Slice House, Oklahoma City, Ok
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - August 2018 - CT1
Pizza Today - August 2018 - CT2
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Pizza Today - August 2018
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Cover2
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Commentary
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 4
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 5
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 6
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 7
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Contents
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 9
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Contributors
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 11
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 13
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Interact
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 15
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Conversation
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 17
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 19
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 21
Pizza Today - August 2018 - At Your Service
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 23
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Destinations
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 25
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 27
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 28
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 29
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 30
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 31
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 32
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 33
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 34
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 35
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 36
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 37
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 38
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 39
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 40
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 41
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Road to Ppne ‘18
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 43
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 2018 Independent Pizzeria of the Year: Empire Slice House, Oklahoma City, Ok
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 45
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 46
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 47
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 48
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 49
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 50
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 51
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 53
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 54
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 56
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 57
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 58
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 59
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 60
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 61
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 62
Pizza Today - August 2018 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 64
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 65
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 66
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 67
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 68
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 69
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 70
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 71
Pizza Today - August 2018 - 72
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Cover3
Pizza Today - August 2018 - Cover4
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