STRIVE to finish on a high note 

For nearly ten months, 286 days to be exact, we have been messaging our theme for 2023. STRIVE. Specifically, “Strive for Excellence.”  Yet, in so many ways we have settled into complacency. Maybe we don’t comprehend what “excellence” looks like or have forgotten what hospitality feels like. Possibly we are ignoring the monetary impact of following the recipes or what that means to our customers when we are not consistent.  Perhaps we have forgotten the impact of training “one thing” every shift and settled into “good enough” and “going through the motions” instead of flat out pushing and getting after it every day.

Not an effective way to finish the year, especially since last month we highlighted “results”, and we might just be more comfortable with reasons.

When we allow our excuses to occupy most of our thoughts, when we allow circumstances to dictate our results or when we lose sight of what could be and our complaining begins to sound off in a low murmur, we’ve forgotten how to STRIVE. Sometimes we just need a reminder so that we can get back to it and finish on a high note.

So, let’s recap our 2023 monthly message journey:

In January and February, we wrapped up the prior year by highlighting a first responder and a community partner that SERVE in a big way. Then mid-month we kicked off our new theme and handed everyone a new shiny coin.

Do you still carry it? Go ahead, pull it out of your pocket.

We have communicated “where STRIVE begins,” what a “team that STRIVES” looks like, and the two destinations of STRIVING, “success or failure.”  We touched on STRIVING to lead effectively and then how STRIVING impacts four of our five values.

To STRIVE means “To devote considerable effort or energy. To struggle, to contend, to endeavor, to persist.”

Despite our results through November, it is critical to end the year on a high note for two distinct reasons.

1.) We can create perception.

As humans, we tend to summarize our experiences by what is called the “Peak-End Rule.”  That means that we summarize our experiences almost entirely based on:

  • The average of how an experience felt at its peak (best or worst).
  • How the experience ended.

We rely on that summary to remind ourselves of how an experience felt, which then affects our decisions about having that experience again. It determines how we walk away from an experience. For example, if the last party you attended ended in a fist fight, you will likely remember that rather than the couple of hours filled with laughter. How do we want to remember 2023? How do we end on a high note?

2.) We can create positivity.

At the most basic level we can improve our guest/customer experiences by prioritizing quality interactions and displaying excellent customer service skills. We can focus on creating a high energy environment and a positive and upbeat atmosphere. We can open doors; we can walk the “To GO” order straight to the customer rather than the counter or even offer to walk it to the car. We can give customers handwritten cards from our team when their visit involves a celebration or just be friendly, light, efficient and center our attention on exceeding expectations. We have the ability to end their experience on a high note with a big goodbye, and an invitation to return. Let’s create positive experiences and finish 2023 on a high note.

Embrace excellence, celebrate the wins, and go clear back to the message you read 6,600 hours ago.

“Each one of us needs to aspire (STRIVE) to be great. Great at leading, great at mentoring, great at serving the needs of others. We must think broader about the role that we signed up for and be students of the hospitality industry. Let’s challenge ourselves to thoroughly understand and adhere to the laws regarding employment, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage/hour. We have an obligation to be keenly aware of the safety of our team members and guests and do something when we find a deficiency.

Our food should be prepared and served exactly to the standard every single time. Our restrooms should be the standard that our competitors measure sanitation against. Our cash handling and reporting should be done with honesty and integrity. Be nice or be kind. Hot foods hot. Cold foods cold. Clean the restrooms. Put the money in the bank. Follow the process. That’s the restaurant business.

We need to earn our swagger back. We need to thrive at the fundamentals. We need to lead the changes rather than be led by them. We need to be the standard bearer in every brand that we operate. We need to understand, believe in, and execute the mission.”

High 5 Hospitality will end on a high note by opening our 9th Buffalo Wild Wings Sports Bar and 19th location overall this month. We will make prudent decisions that will position our organization to continue to improve in the new year. BWW Salisbury is dangerously close to setting an H5H annual sales record. That’s a high note!

There is only one way to put a capstone on 2023.  We have even been given an extra week in the 2023 fiscal calendar. Will you use it to finish on a high note?