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What a Body Shop Can Learn from a Pizza Shop

A recent experience I had at a pizza shop convinced me that their employee teamwork system could work at a body shop.

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Jason Stahl has 26 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 14 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

Dewey’s Pizza is a pizza shop in Lakewood, Ohio, that is known for at least two things: great pizza, and the fact that you can watch the cooks in the kitchen hand-toss the dough and make the pizzas through some big glass windows. Kids especially get a kick out of watching this process, especially when the cook playfully throws some flour at them as their faces are pressed up against the glass. But I like Dewey’s for another reason: the stellar customer service. 

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The staff has obviously been trained and has totally bought into a team concept. I was amazed to see at least six different people service us the night we were there. There was the person who sat us, the person who took our drink order, the person who took our food order, the person who brought out our food, the person who checked on the quality of our food and whether we needed anything else, and the person who handed us our bill and took payment.

You might think this concept would be a bit confusing and frustrating, but it was the exact opposite because no one person owned the table. Multiple people took ownership of and accountability for our table. It sped up and streamlined the whole evening and made sure our drinks were never empty. Everything came out super fast, because when the pizza was in the window, no one said, “Not my table, not my problem.” The first person who saw it grabbed it while it was still hot and fresh and whisked it to the table. 

Do you employ such a system at your shop where there are multiple hands on the vehicle and everyone is vested in advancing the vehicle to the next stage rather than letting it sit, saying, “Not my job. Not my problem.” I know vehicles aren’t pizza pies, but I do know some shops that employ this team concept with great success. You might want to give it some thought, as it might make your dough rise. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

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