December 1, 2017 |

At Your Service: Two Kinds of Customers

By Pizza Today


business lunch at a pizzeria

Don’t overlook your hired customers

Paul Paz, Founder of Waiter’s World.

There are two kinds of customers in our business. The paying customer and the hired customer.

The paying customer is the obvious. They are the consumers who come to our establishments to buy the goods and services that we promote and advertise via the usual commercial media/marketing methods and our employees. The paying guests reasonably anticipate that we will deliver on the promises we promoted.

The hired customer? Those are our peers that we work with every shift. From executive level to entry-level, we serve each other to deliver on the professional promise we all make to the paying customer. That promise, of course, is of an excellent guest experience.

Serving the hired customer is as simple as being on time for your shift so that your peers can complete their work. Being in the proper uniform, representing the brand professionally or speaking to each other in a respectful tone are all things we do to serve the hired customer.

There are three primary needs for both the Paying and Hired Customers.

• UNDERSTAND ME. Realize that each person is different and recognize their different needs. For the hired customers, training is the action of teaching a skill or type of behavior. Coaching is to prompt or urge a person with instructions that compliment and advance their soft skills. Use the appropriate training/coaching strategies and styles to guide your hired customers to the optimum behavior you seek.

• RESPECT ME. You must deliver specific attitudes and actions that show your hired customer that they are highly valued. You set the tone for the day at your first greeting at the start of the shift. Do you greet your hired customer in the same manner you want them to use with the paying customers?

• HELP ME. Do you mirror the same service/soft skills that you
expect from your hired customers? Do you provide the right materials and effective emotional support, so your hired customers can make your brand’s hospitality a reality?

Always make sure you set the tone. Decide what kind of service your hired customers need. Plan your own rapport with them and duplicate the behaviors you expect your hired customer to present to the paying customers. Smile and greet them warmly (even though the cheese delivery is late… it’s not the hired customers’ fault!). Besides the physical labor, help and support your hired customers with the emotional labor demanded throughout the shift.

In the big picture, each shift will evolve based on your leadership as the pizzeria owner or manager. How you treat your hired customers will determine how they will treat their paying customers. n

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