By Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS, SNA President 2016-09-27 14:18:49
Do You Work to Enhance the “Guest Experience”? WALT DISNEY HAD A VISION, DECADES AGO, TO PROVIDE EXEMPLARY EXPERIENCES TO THE GUESTS OF HIS RESORTS AND THEME PARKS. That vision can be seen in action still today, at every Disney customer contact point, from a souvenir cart to a hotel to a shuttle van to a foodservice outlet. The number-one goal for staff is to enhance the guest experience, driving an intent to return and an intent to recommend. This emphasis makes for some truly magical customer experiences! When students come to school, few have the expectation of a magical dining experience. How can we change that perception so that children keep coming back—and tell their friends and family? What are you doing to enhance the guest experience? In October, we observe National School Lunch Week (NSLW)—a perfect opportunity to “Show Your Spirit” and organize creative, fun activities that will enhance how students experience your cafeteria programs. In my district, we hold a competition among site managers for the highest percentage of increased participation during NSLW and the following week. Enthusiastic managers work hard to involve their entire school! The winning managers at each level earn an expenses-paid trip to the next SNA Annual National Conference, and their students receive an all-school taste party to evaluate potential new menu items for the next school year. Of course, you must work hard to keep such excitement going all year long. We’ve involved the agriculture community in a very popular Farmer Trading Card campaign (see “Things We Love,” June/ July 2016). The positive local and national media buzz we have gained from this effort has been priceless, and participation is slowly inching up as our reputation grows. While focusing on NSLW and creating magical dining experiences this month, don’t lose sight of other seasonal events. During SNA’s Fall Committee Days, national leaders come together to work on the future of our Association. Committee work is a great place to begin your national leadership journey. I urge you to take that leap of faith and answer the next call for volunteers. Finally, in a few short weeks, there is the U.S. national presidential election. I urge each of you to exercise your right and privilege to vote. Many and much have been sacrificed for this opportunity, and it is one of our greatest freedoms.
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