You Only Have To Be A Little Better Than The Next Guy

Michael Attias Aug 26, 2015
Michael Attias

I remember reading an article about how the youth of today are nothing like their parent’s generation. Their work ethic has slipped and if future generations follow step, then we are not far from the fall of this country. The article was written in the early 1900’s.

I am sure each generation thinks the younger generation has far worse work ethic. Or maybe it’s the fact that I turned fifty this year and now have far less patience.

About a month ago, my girlfriend and I took our kids to the beach for a vacation. The 30a part of Florida is my all-time favorite. After grabbing a latte at Amavida Coffee Company in Rosemary one morning, my girlfriend and I wandered into the Bombora Sun & Surf shop (#bomborasunandsurf ) a few doors down. 

I am a sucker for gadgets and things I probably don’t need. After four days of applying and reapplying sunscreen, I decided to upgrade to an SPF surf shirt. The only shirt that fit me had built in headphones and a waterproof case for an iPod or iPhone.

I asked the salesgirl if it was safe to take my phone into the water with this shirt. She told me yes, so I quickly plopped my credit card down to pay for the $78 dollar Jammer brand shirt (#jammer ).  I know my girlfriend and kids thought I was crazy. And I know I didn’t need to be listening to music as I hung out in the surf, but I like cool stuff.

Or so I thought it was cool, until I fried my $950 iPhone. And of course I didn’t have insurance. After all, I have never had an issue with a phone. The insurance is usually a rip-off.

I called Bombora about the issue, and it turns out the shirt was water resistant. I don’t read tags and relied on the salesperson. It seems impossible to find a salesperson at any retail store that has true product knowledge. I usually get someone who just reads me the tag or box, while I stand there.

The last time I checked, I wasn’t blind and could read just fine. 

Without getting into a blow by blow account, I will cut to the punch line. The store and manufacturer refused to reimburse me for my iPhone. Actually, I was reasonable and asked for half the cost of the phone back. I was willing to take partial blame, even though the salesperson said I was good to go in the ocean.

It is becoming harder and harder to find good customer service in the world. And when people do screw up, they just shrug it off as no big deal.

There are exceptions, like Nordstrom’s. A few months ago I went in to buy a pair of loafers, and I saw something I would have never believed.

A guy was demanding a refund or merchandise swap for a pair of $600 tennis shoes and expensive jeans, because he just fell of his motorcycle and had the clothes less than a week. Nordstrom gave it to them. I was flabbergasted.

Needless to say, I should have bought my shirt from Nordstrom. Not just for the way I know they would have treated me, but this company knows it product. I have always worked with people who knew their stuff 

Now contrast that to a new sushi restaurant in my neighborhood with a waiter who appeared to not have been trained. He didn’t know the difference between maki and sashimi. He was very shaky about the menu.

For you to sell more catering, you only have to be a little better than the next guy. What’s a good example of being a little better? Answer your catering phones live. If someone asks for a catering proposal, they should wait hours not days.

Show up a little early. Set up the food. Make sure there is more than enough. Be responsive.

And please, please make sure anyone interacting with your customers and clients is well trained.

It’s the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. 

NOTE: To learn how you can build your catering profit center, please make plans to attend an upcoming seminar in Louisville, KY, on Monday, October 12, 2015 

You can get complete details at: 

Spots are limited, so register today. 

Well, that’s all for this issue.

To Your Restaurant's Marketing & Catering Success,

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

P.P.P.S. – Please check out my podcast at

P.P.P.P.S. - Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

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