Monday, March 10, 2008

I Can’t Seem to Pull Out an Entire Napkin!

Originally, this silly, 'rant' of an article was written with restaurants in mind. However, the same principle applies to your concession stands as well. It sounds silly, but make sure your customers can grab a napkin from your dispenser easily. Remember, sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest impressions on your customers! Have fun reading this…but take it with a grain of salt too!

Okay, this may seem a little trivial to some folks, but to me it is a true source of irritation. It seems to me that many restaurant employees do not know how to fill a napkin holder properly. Whether it is a fast food establishment or a casual dining restaurant, if they have paper napkin dispensers, most likely they are so overloaded that I only get shreds of paper out of them instead of a whole napkin.

Now, let’s step back and analyze this situation for a moment. Why are napkin holders overfilled? I have a hard time coming up with a good reason. Honestly now, how many extra napkins are they jamming in there compared to the amount a customer wastes trying to get just ONE good one? I don’t think it’s worth it.

Is it too much to ask that the napkin holders are filled properly? Can I please just reach for a napkin and gently pull one, complete napkin free from the dispenser? Do I have to pull strip after strip hoping that I’ll get a large enough partial napkin to actually use?

How many extra times per shift would an employee have to refill those properly filled napkin holders? Perhaps they will have to fill them one, two, maybe three extra times? In my estimation, the amount of wasted napkins would most likely offset the extra time spent on refilling napkin holders. To be very frank, I don’t think any extra time is needed, I think it can still be properly done within any competent employee’s shift.

So watch out Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Friendly’s (the worst one so far) and all other restaurants with paper napkin dispensers! You’ve been called out. What’s your response? Are you going to keep making your customers use partially shredded napkins out of convenience to you? Or are you going to look at your customer’s frustrations and ease their pain?!

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