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Business Tips from Dining Out

As a business owner, do you ever observe how other businesses operate and take mental notes on what you could learn from them?

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Sean Donohue joined Babcox Media in early 2008. Prior to this, he worked in sales and marketing for the Akron Beacon Journal. Over the last decade, Donohue has served in a variety of sales roles, most recently Vice President of Sales and Publisher of BodyShop Business. Other roles have included Group Publisher of TechShop, Motorcycle & Powersports News, AutoSuccess, Professional Carwashing & Detailing and Engine Builder brands. Sean is a graduate of Kent State University.

As a business owner, do you ever observe how other businesses operate and take mental notes on what you could learn from them? I’m not a business owner, but I do that all the time with you, the reader, in mind, in hopes of helping you improve your business.

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Let’s face it, people visit restaurants much more often than collision repair facilities because of the nature of the business. We’re hungry every day, but we only need the services of a body shop every seven years. So I tried a new restaurant the other night and was impressed with details I think could be applied to your shop.

The servers all had a consistent and uniform dress. Casual but neat, not sloppy, to fit the restaurant’s vibe. The restaurant itself was immaculate, including the tables and floors. The décor was tasteful and classy. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable and professional, and the service was excellent. There was a “food checker” (quality control) person who made sure the dishes were correct. The food came out hot and excellent. And of course, the manager stopped by five minutes later to make sure everything was good.

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Are your people neatly dressed with consistent logo wear? Do they greet customers with a smile? Is your shop neat and free of filler dust resting on every crack and crevice? Do you have a quality control checker who scours the vehicle before it is delivered to the customer? Take note of the good and bad in other businesses to advance your own.

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