Monday, November 21, 2016

Have Restaurants replaced Emotional Intelligence with Automation?

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson recently stated that “restaurants that automate the majority of the restaurant operation risk losing the emotional connection with their customers.  Technology is fabulous but the emotional connection with the consumer still rules the day.”
Success does leave clues and during transformational times foodservice companies require focus and experience with a qualitative edge.  That edge requires the right balance of intellectual quotient (data IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ) which combined with vast and broad first hand industry knowledge will contribute greatly to you and your organizations success. Like a teeter totter to much of one and you will lose equilibrium.  

Robert Huebner, president of 200Mark Consulting, explained why emotional intelligence is a profitable tool and important skill set.  “Emotional intelligence involves being able to step back in moments of heightened emotions and regulate ones response to the situation in order to improve the outcome of the situation.”

Huebner sited an example “Road range is one example of a low emotional intelligence (EQ) reaction. Today, some eight in 10 drivers are said to have road rage and these people are coming off the road into your stores. How you and your employees interface with these customers can have a huge impact on outcome and the overall experience of customers, which is key to your bottom line.

Self-serve kiosk, iPad ordering, mobile phone ordering all work well except when they don’t.  The data or IQ will explain how fast, how efficient, and customer adoption should rule the day.  That data however is a bit like category management it misses the complexity of what does not happen on the devise.  That according to our own Grocerant Guru® should be cause for pause.

Remember category managers were the primary cause of grocery store market share capitulation over the past 20 years.  Why simple they only measure and document what they sell not what is selling at new non-traditional retail locations the ilk of Grocerants with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food. 

Retailers with high EQ listen to customers, teams, admit mistakes, face into difficult conversations, create a high performing workplace and build strong teams as they can bring people together via these skills. On the other hand, retailers with low EQ are arrogant continue doing what they have always done, rigid doing it the same way avoiding accountability while be insensitive customers.

Retailers must automate, ordering, cooking processes, and marketing however it’s critical that when doing so they do not relinquish the emotional quotient from the customer equations according to our Grocerant Guru®.  It is the emotional quotient that binds the customer to the brand, product, and price of your services.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® or for a Grocerant Scorecard visit,  Email:

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