Industry Update
Opinion Article20 May 2019

Really, Why Are You Still Allowing This Word…

By Leslie Kalk, Hospitality Coach at Six Figures Waiter

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Kalk

I mean come on, now… Why on Earth are you still okay with this word that your team is using with guests? It's NOT okay. Actually it IS okay. The word is "Okay!" See what I did there? Heh heh.

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So let's pluck a few critical examples from our everyday lives -

The greeting: "Hi folks, are you doing okay today?" Ugh. Generic.

The seating: "Is this table okay?" Oh, there's a better one somewhere else?

The quality check: "Is everything okay?" Really, THAT'S your standard?

But I know you, you want better than "Okay" for your store, your guests and your team. So what are you going to do to purge this godawful adjective from the vocabularies of those around you?

Appeal to their vanity. We all want to sound smart when we open our mouths. Using "Okay" in those circumstances above makes us sound more like we're a few french fries short of a Happy Meal. Just like inserting too many "ums", "likes" and "ya knows," it doesn't compel guests to listen, it lessens our credibility and invites unnecessary judgment. The good news, however, is that verbal habits can be fixed with awareness and practice.

Practice. Every great communicator has practiced. It's the one single pivotal thing that gets us what we need out of life! We take music lessons, we hire tennis pros, we go to the gym - so why should we just naturally have superior verbal skills? We don't. We need to practice.* It's time to take those "Okay" questions next-level: "Hi folks, did you enjoy this amazing weather today?" "I have your favorite table right here for you." "Is everything delicious? Are you enjoying your lasagna?"

Technology. And if you're very determined to stop from sounding like your elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor, you might try using an app that helps you practice speaking without sounding like you have sailboat fuel for brains. A few that I've seen around are: Like So, Speech Master, After X and Orai.

If you try one, let me know if you liked it. And if you successfully reduced the number of "Okays" carelessly tossed around your dining room, shoot me a note and brag a little!

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Leslie Kalk

Leslie does for the FOH what Gordon Ramsay does for the BOH. Fresh, no-BS programs that eliminate the frustrations of bleary-eyed hospitality managers. She is an award-winning Hospitality/F&B lifer with more than 27 years successfully creating the best custom systems to improve hiring, training and motivating your team.

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    Hospitality Coach at Six Figures Waiter
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