A timeless lesson on how Consultants can make a difference.
Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed
that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket.
It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and utensils,
I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around
saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets.
When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, "Why the
spoon?" Well," he explained, "the restaurant's owners
hired Kurt Salmon Associates to revamp all our processes. After several
months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon is the most frequently
dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons
per table per hour. If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce
the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift."
As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he was able to replace
it with his spare. "I'll get another spoon next time I go to the
kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now." I
I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter's fly.
Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging
from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse
me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?"
"Oh, certainly!" Then he lowered his voice. "Not everyone
is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that
we can save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of
you know what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate
the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom
"After you get it out, how do you put it back?"
Well," he whispered, "I don't know about the others, but
I use the spoon."