For some, quality practices or their verifications are the result of the modern era and nothing further from the truth that they had their origins much earlier than we can imagine. Let's review Hammurabi's code and rule 2291 or to the Phoenicians who also used corrective programs to avoid the repetition of errors and for whose acts they had inspectors who verified customer satisfaction; that if they did not occur, they went to the practice of amputating the hand of the person responsible for the dissatisfaction.

And although these were the foundations and there was evidence of actions based on quality in the United States, France and England, it cannot be ignored that it was the Japanese who understood that in order to compete in a market that was becoming increasingly complex they had to produce and sell better products than their rivals; establishing the premise that from the design itself to the delivery of the product and / or service, considering all the processes and activities that comprised it (administrative, commercial, support, etc.) should be based on a philosophy of zero defects.
 
The present…
 
One of the main problems that are perceived today is the tendency of many suppliers, as a result of monotony or constant exposure to the same process, not to distinguish the small details that ultimately impose the differentiation between a product and other and that consequently lead to changes in customers preferences. That is why quality control becomes an important function to determine when and in what form should they occur those changes to stay in the market. Control, in addition, that it must not only be confined to the act of production, but to the monitoring that must be given to the personnel involved and the client, in order to know, in the former, the training needs, the commitment to what is done , and in the seconds, what and how they want what is offered to them.
 
The study of the processes gradually and the identification of failures, but also of possible improvements, must be the necessary antecedent in order to guarantee that they occur at the appropriate times, when the environment demands it - this being understood by the development itself that the technology and changes in customer habits and demographics occur - the transformations necessary to respond to any need that may or may arise, as well as to have the ability to cope under different conditions with environments that may be tinged by lack or scarcity or what I call "bad abundance" 2.
I allude to the processes because it is they who somehow impose, when they demonstrate it, the needs for correction, to unlearn what has been learned or to incorporate new ways of doing; And obviously, in my opinion, there is an inseparable link between quality and processes. You have or offer quality when you have identified each of the details that intervene in the final result, in this case, customer service.
 
In the same way, maintain a positive attitude that includes the satisfaction of serving other people, the awareness that customers are the most important thing, the ability to withstand long hours on their feet and taking long walks in confined spaces; as well as the fact of considering that the service profession is a constant act of human relations and that collective problems are put before personal ones lead to success and will form in the client a concept of quality of the restaurant and your service in a positive way.
 
With quality you can….
 
In order to better understand what quality contributes and what can be obtained with it, I present the following illustration, which I will comment on:
 
 
1
Decrease costs: by reducing or eradicating errors, fewer corrections are produced, compensations and problems decrease, better use is made of supplies and support machinery, and for services, staff are less worn out, work more motivated and facilities are operated consistently.
2
Cut prices: As a consequence, if costs decrease, prices can be lowered.
1 + 2
Increase productivity: As errors do not occur and costs decrease, the works will be less and less repeated and, which previously constituted a waste or misuse that led to the excess of elaborations and equipment breakdowns, would decrease and the relations between costs, expenses and income will correspond. with the actions of services that are generated and produce income.
1 + 2 + 3
Position the service: the company in terms of money (Costs - Expenses and Income) would stabilize its financial results; the client would enjoy a better and better service at a reasonable price, which would psychologically position itself in the client's mind and would be one of the reasons for choosing the restaurant and recommend it.
1 2 + + + 3 4
Stabilize the business: quality actions that are carried out with the required frequency; the study of the processes and their consequent improvement, which produce the decrease in costs and lower prices from the rational use of human, financial and technological resources, which consequently produce satisfaction in the clients to the extent of loyalty, will stabilize the business life.
1+2+3+4+5
Create jobs: All of the above allows us to have financial and material resources for hiring personnel at the times and in the necessary amounts, to fill the gaps in services that occur at peak times.
 
The above does not represent an outline by itself; This must be the result of the integration of the company to the changes that are produced, firstly, by the development of the society and with it the level of knowledge and demands of the clients regarding service; and second, by those that are produced as a result of economic globalization and the competitive environment, where more and more new competitors emerge and others are consolidated.
 
The particularities of our sector, in which new businesses arise and disappear with increasing frequency, must be a point of view to which we must constantly be aiming. Just because you have the latest technology doesn't mean you can be successful. It is necessary to be prepared to offer the services and with quality in any environment, and I explain myself: Generally it happens that we adapt to a work environment and we do not consider others that may be produced by different circumstances (shortage of financial resources, extinction of suppliers, changes in the habits and dietary standards of customers, demographic growth or otherwise, lack of electricity, natural disasters, among others) and when that happens we stop producing, not due to disability but due to ignorance of how and in what way we can do it and gaps occur that will be seen by customers as glitches; These failures will change their perception and re-conceptualize their concept of quality of the restaurant.
 
That is why quality should not only be seen as the act itself of serving the customer in the best of environments (it would be ideal), but as the company's ability to deploy all its resources and capabilities at any time and under any circumstance, so that the customer's needs are met and their expectations are exceeded.
 
Customer satisfaction must be measured
 
The degree of knowledge of today's entrepreneurs, who are beginning to worry about knowing the competition, outlining strategies, setting goals and not just selling for selling; but very fundamentally to identify as its greatest strength the satisfied customer, has led to the development of models of various kinds, both quantitative and qualitative, to measure the behavior of customers in relation to the business.
 
There are many, as diverse are the answers they offer to the countless questions that arise:
 
What do customers want?
How do they want it?
How many are faithful to me?
How to make them faithful?
How do you see my business?
How do you see the competition?
How much do they spend on my business?
How much more can they spend?
How much does a customer cost me?
 
And so, like those, a few more questions that can only be answered if asked.
 
And, without the desire to categorize, I can say that "there is the basis of survival" The more focused our business is towards customers, the results will be like this.
 
Now, not everything is applied for application, some consider that the opinions are the most important and use only qualitative methods, others think that only the numbers reflect reality; I personally consider that the merger of both will be the one that provides the best answers.
 
In the articles published on March 26 and April 02 of last year, by this magazine itself, where it explained about quantitative methods in restoration, as instruments for taking strategic, this matter is well clarified. A single method is not enough, today the Insights must be based on the application of several (qualitative and quantitative), what we call the Insights Multicriteria, given that a single result can offer insufficient information or that if taken as the only one can cause problems, more results are needed to be able to contrast and make the right decisions.
 
Thus, satisfaction surveys can be applied to external and internal clients, models such as the five-gap model, or the client-company interdependence matrix, the client window, the perceived quality index, among many others that are well combined will generate the necessary information.
 
Therefore we can say that the act of measuring customer satisfaction allows the restaurant Know how the company responds to what the customer demands.
 
The staff is the base of everything.
 
It is well known to all that service is an act of human relations. If we are constantly advocating for (external) customer satisfaction, we must demand that relationships between (internal) customers and customer satisfaction be studied.
 
In a company where all efforts are made to make the outsider feel good and neglect the insider, in the long run the results will be catastrophic. Imagine a cook and a salesperson who don't get along. The first would not elaborate with the same motivation the orders that the second makes, as with the rest.
 
Now imagine the warehouseman at odds with the maitre d ': Any difficulties, such as the lack of a warehouse employee, would be a justification for orders being delivered late.
 
Finally, imagine the accountant at odds with the cashier in the lounge….
 
The opposite would happen if those disagreements were avoided:
  • Staff would work much more motivated, even if resources were scarce.
  • The response to the needs of one area that must be met by another, would be immediate.
  • The registration of operations, or any incident with them, would be promptly analyzed and resolved at the time.
It is not only the external client that is the source of the results. If the internal clients are not satisfied, there is no quality in the service and if there is no quality in the service, the financial results cannot be improved, no matter how much effort is made, because:
  • It will work reluctantly.
  • The problems will be overturned in the service and will be perceived by external clients.
  • Errors will occur.
  • Media will be mishandled.
  • There will be tensions that will cause delays.
  • Individuals will be prioritized and not the collective.
To conclude and relate everything I have presented here, I must say that quality, that quality that we talk about so much, is not just smiling and giving an immediate response to the client. It is much more than that, it is knowing where the problems are in order to solve them; it is to achieve integration, it is to learn from the past, to live in the present, thinking about the future; it is giving the best with what you have and not justifying yourself with what you do not have.
I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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