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Jan 30
2018

Serving Customers a Healthy Standard

Posted by: Steve Marr

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I stopped by a lunch spot for a quick meal and ordered a salad. The server carried my food in one hand and two customers’ drinks in another.  On the way to the table, she sneezed. However, she was unable to cover her mouth and sneezed directly into my salad and the two drinks. Without missing a beat, she placed my salad down in front of me and walked away. I pick up viruses easily. I could have eaten the lunch and taken a chance or asked for a new salad. I chose the latter. Let someone call me picky, but it wasn’t worth risking a cold.    

The manager wasn't happy redoing the salad, but he did. However, while waiting, I witnessed the same server coughing and sneezing in the kitchen and over other plates. 

When I was done I spoke with the manager. I asked if he felt it was a good idea to have an obviously sick person serve customers and work with food in the kitchen. He shrugged his shoulders, listened, and we both moved on. For me, I won't be going back.  If the manager didn’t care about employees sneezing over food, I couldn’t help wonder what happened in the back that you can’t see.   

Other times I have experienced sneezing cashiers, sales people who coughed into a right hand before extending it to shake mine. I offered a knuckle bump instead. 
Managers have a responsibility to insure customers are protected. Part of the protection is not to allow sick staff to serve or be in contact with customers. As we enter the cold and flu season establish a sick day policy. Insist folks stay home when ill. 

The lunch place I stopped patronizing may have lost about 30 meals a year from me or around $300. While it won’t break them, if they don’t address a healthy standard for service; others will also vote by staying away. 

Paul wrote, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4, NIV) Part of looking after the interest of your customers is to ensure your staff does not infect them during the flu and cold season. Serve your customers using healthy standards for everyone’s benefit.

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