Dec 04, 2006

Stupid Rules that Hurt Business I went to a concert on Saturday and beforehand went around loads of local restaurants only to find waiting times of well over an hour. So eventually ended up at a Pizza Hut who gave a 45 minute waiting time. After about 10 minutes I was getting irritated that half the restaurant was empty and I couldn't understand I asked. The man "in charge of the waiting list" said "The next on the waiting list is a group of 6. All the tables that are free are 2's and 3's." So of course I asked why he didn't seat the 2's and 3's that are waiting....his answer "The rule is that we seat people in order" So I went and asked the group of 6 if they would mind, and they said absolutely not, they understood they would have to wait longer and though it was stupid that everyone (about 30 by this time) else had to wait. The man responded "Well, it is not company policy so it is irrelevant what the customers say" Mmmmm how stupid, they lost potential people - the ones that wouldn't wait, they lost revenue by having empty tables, they lost customer loyalty by the stupid rule. For me, it shows a complete lack of understanding of how important customers are to your business. I will vote in the future with my feet, and try and avoid Pizza Hut at all costs. But it made me think "What stupid rule are your employees sticking with, which is affecting your business?" I bet if you asked your team what rule annoys customers, what rules annoy them, you will find sales prevention rules.

Anna Farmery

Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model

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