I love this as just a riveting little story but it is also terribly absorbing about productivity and our perception of that too. A New York restaurant has been getting bad reviews that centre on how service there is slow. The owners can’t see what could be causing these – so they looked into it.
We decided to hire a firm to help us solve this mystery, and naturally the first thing they blamed it on was that the employees need more training and that maybe the kitchen staff is just not up to the task of serving that many customers.
Like most restaurants in NYC we have a surveillance system, and unlike today where it’s a digital system, 10 years ago we still used special high capacity tapes to record all activity. At any given time we had 4 special Sony systems recording multiple cameras. We would store the footage for 90 days just in case we need it for something.
The firm we hired suggested we locate some of the older tapes and analyze how the staff behaved 10 years ago versus how they behave now. We went down to our storage room but we couldn’t find any tapes at all.
We did find the recording devices, and luckily for us, each device has 1 tape in it that we simply never removed when we upgraded to the new digital system.
The date stamp on the old footage was Thursday July 1 2004, the restaurant was real busy that day. We loaded up the footage on a large size monitor, and next to it on a separate monitor loaded up the footage of Thursday July 3 2014, the amount of customers where only a bit more than 10 years prior.
You will love what they found and what it means. Now, I’d like to direct you to the original post, an entry on Craigslist, but that’s vanished. This article on Dineability includes the full text plus a little stream of comments afterwards, some of which make you hope aliens never learn how thick we really are.