Archeologists have recently discovered a cave in Egypt believed to be the first restaurant. Obviously it would not meet our modern interpretation of a restaurant. It is clear from inscriptions on the wall that people did come in and were served food. Barter took place and guests typically ate their food there. One inscription depicts a number of servers standing in a side station complaining to each other that the manager has not cut the floor. Some things never change.
While the preceding story is fictitious, it does demonstrate a familiar truth. Restaurant servers and managers are often puzzled by the actions of each other. This leads to managers too often viewing servers and lazy and insubordinate. Servers on the other side view managers too often as lazy and incompetent. While both can occasionally be true, the more common cause is neither side understanding the perspective of the other. Both groups have their own competing priorities. By understanding the priorities a manager must balance, servers can better understand their managers and more positively effect change.
The manager’s three basic priorities are taking care of the guests, the owners, and the staff. When shown on the Venn diagram it looks like this:
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