What You Can Learn From a Successful Restaurant

Many of us may have a hard time understanding how running a restaurant in anything like a dental or orthodontic practice. I mean you have burgers and fries to prepare instead of crown preps or retainers. Technically a huge difference. But from the customer or patient’s standpoint is there a difference?

I know you are thinking of course there is a difference….

Any 16 year old can grill a burger, but certainly is not educated or trained to prep a 3 unit bridge or place brackets and wires or set up a clincheck. So how are they the same?

There is a different skill set involved with producing extraordinary dentistry. There is the education and training process, the continuing education process, the materials and labs we use and of course our facilities and team members who help us provide the service.

A burger can be different too depending on the meat used, the way it was cooked and seasoned and of course how it is ultimately presented and served.

I think you know may know where I am going with this….

It is not ONLY the dentistryor the burger, but how the patient or customer perceives the experience of having their braces placed or a burger presented to them. It comes down to how we deliver our services to the patient or customer and this is where we can learn a lot from those restaurants who are continuing to “crush” it and have people lining up each and every night of the week!

Let’s talk food.

We need to eat . And certainly there are no shortage of restaurants. Maybe you have noticed some restaurants are busier than others. Even the ones that are considered “high end” seem to be busy and thriving.

Do they have a secret?

Is it because the food is amazing? Probably, but there may be more to the story.

Are these restaurants thriving because of their ability to serve their customers in a consistent and caring way that promotes repeat and referral business?

Think about the restaurants you tend to frequent.

I will admit I am a bit of a food snob as I really enjoy cooking and often have a hard time finding a place that meets my standards. I am also picky about what type of food I eat and how it is prepared.

However, when I think about the places I like to go to on a regular basis they usually meet these criteria.

  1. They are consistent. I can order the same salad each time and it will be the same size and taste the same and have the same ingredients.
  2. They know me by name or at least recognize that I am a “regular.” I like when you are frequent customer at a restaurant they great you by your first name and usually know what you will probably order or even tell you about a special that they know you will love.
  3. The wait staff is friendly and helpful. They don’t seem bothered by your requests for gluten free or an extra plate. They are upbeat and friendly and appear to enjoy their jobs.
  4. If something is wrong, they fix it no questions asked. Being picky, I do sometimes send food back. I once sent a Caesar salad back at Ruth Chris. It was drowned in dressing and absolutely horrible. They took it away no questions asked and of course removed it from my bill along with my main course.
  5. They are always adding new menu items to choose from. I love to go to my favorite place and have new things to try. Many restaurants will offer seasonal menus to go along with the food available that time of year.

Now think about your practice.

Are you providing a similar experience?

We can get caught up in the technical and clinical aspects of what we do in our practices and while this is important, taking care of our patients and providing them an extraordinary experience in our offices is ultimately why practices thrive and continue to grow each and every year.