What is for Dinner?
Some of you may have read “What is in your kitchen?” which is the part 1 of a series of articles to help examine your current curriculum offered at your school. In this installment we are going to take a look into ways to survey your curriculum offerings. Since there are so many topics such as dividing children’s classes into ages specific classes and ranks and having differing requirements according to the age breakdowns (which I do support and follow in my own school), I will not concentrate on children’s programs.
Taking on the theme of Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Ramsey, he surveys the product not by giving a questionnaire, but by sampling himself an appetizer, entrée and dessert. He usually never finishes any dish since it typically horrifies him and sees no need to continue an unpleasurable experience.
When was the last time you sampled your own “food” or shall I say “called your own school” or had a secret shopper enter your facility? Not in a meeting but randomly call and ask about your current specials and description of your programs. Does your staff have a rehearsed “elevator pitch?” Have yourself take your own trial or orientation from a staff member to see the experience you would have. This would be your “appetizer” before the main dish. Although I am not a “foodie” (although there are way too many references here), I think a great appetizer will surely deliver expectations of the main dish to come. So if you have a fantastic marketing plan and approach to sign up with a professional trial class, you are in danger of giving a mediocre entrée (Beginner Program). Or at least mediocre compared to the appetizer.
Your actual program needs to satisfy the client’s (student’s) hunger not just the first time, but every visit to your facility. Think of a familiar restaurant and you order your favorite dish from there. After years of loyal patronage you get one meal which the food just isn’t right. I hear people claim that “the place is not the same” and is going down hill and all of a sudden they wish to check out another restaurant that they got a coupon for, after all, man still has to eat. How many chances do you give when they serve you badly or not cooked to your “expectation”?
So let’s do a few bullet points.
Are your warm ups relevant to the actual class following it or is it painfully generic? (Place any two foods that do not match up)Do you sample your own food? (Are you putting yourself in the class or your staff and get honest reviews)Do you use music to motivate your student’s emotions (and update it so it is not repetitive – ambiance)Do you clearly explain about your Exotic Desserts that must be sampled (Upgrade programs)?Does your audience know what theme you are – sport orientated, self-defense, and fitness? (Are you French gourmet or Family style Italian, etc.)Does your staff know what theme you are?Do you offer “Chef Special’s” to break to same choice ordering (Offer Workshop’s with Special Guest Instructors)?Do you have alternative choices for those not fitting your main style of curriculum?
Take a look at your answers and decide for yourself the next step. One thing I can recommend is to go outside your walls and experience other forms of service that exceed your expectations for ideas. Maybe a vacation spot, High end spas, clothing boutiques, etc are nice are we are treated like kings and queen, but who will buy if the product is still underwhelming?
At the end, consistency or a quality product can create loyal base of customers and forge a reputation of a solid business. If there is a staff member that is not delivering this, it may be time to make a change as I did recently. Even though I love my guys, my business needs the love of our supporters who pay for what we say we will deliver.
If anyone would like to send me a video of their intro process, presentation of upgrade programs or a sample of their elevator pitch, email me a link to firstname.lastname@example.org