I enjoy eating at Moe’s Southwestern Grill…well, at least most of the time. Compared to the typical burger & fry places Moe’s offers a little better choice of fresh veggies and higher quality protein at a comparable price. Now, before this looks like an endorsement for Moe’s let me specify that there are two Moe’s locations close to my home. Incidentally, the one that is closest I only eat at when I have no other choice.
Why don’t I like the closer Moe’s? After all I’m in that part of town fairly often—and the truth is that I’m hungry fairly often—so it seems like we would be a great customer/location fit, right? Nope, not exactly! So what is it then? Cleanliness? Health inspection rating? No, that’s not it—overall the tables, floors and even the bathroom are kept up pretty well—no complaints there. What about the food? Did I find something questionable in my burrito? No, nothing like that either. It’s not even because the staff are unfriendly. There is a good reason that I don’t like it—and I promise I’ll share it with you in just a minute.
I only get to visit the other Moe’s location (the one that’s located a little further away that I like) about once a month when I’m passing through the area on business. That particular store is in a bad location. The way the medians in the surrounding streets are set up you cannot turn directly into the store. You practically have to drive all the way around the block to get to the parking lot. However, there is never a shortage of people inside and sometimes its standing room only. This Moe’s store has overcome the hurdles of bad location by offering superior VALUE to its customers. To my knowledge I’ve never left this location without feeling that I’ve got more than my money’s worth—and that is precisely where the other, closer Moe’s fails.
The difference is simply: management. The manager of closer location “A” store operates with what author Stephen R. Covey calls the “Scarcity Mentality”. This guy is always manning the cash register—as far as I can tell he’s the only one in his store who can do it. This doesn’t speak much for his trust of his employees or his hiring skills. His smiles are always forced. You always have to speak to him first before he’ll acknowledge you—except of course when he asks for your money. He never offers promotions. He grudgingly honors franchise promotions. And even then—when you try to use a coupon—if you’re not watching closely, he’ll often still charge you the full cost! (There is no digital display on the customer side of the register so that you can see what he’s ringing you up for. And to top it all off, he never…ever offers you a receipt!)
It’s a totally different story with the manager of location “B”. He has an “Abundance Mentality”. His store may be located in a bad location but he knows how to get the people in there anyway. Right up front during your visit he’s busy jovially interacting with his employees and customers. He’ll introduce himself, make menu recommendations and insist that his employees pile on the toppings. If the baskets of food are not running over by the time it reaches the register he’ll go back and pile on more himself. He’ll even offer “on the spot” manager-created combos and family discounts that are not listed on the sign. The first time I met him I told him about my experience in the location “A” store. Even though he had no vested stake in that store he insisted on knocking two bucks off my current combo. “I want our customers to WANT to come to my store.” he told me while handing me my receipt. Needless to say…I’m a faithful customer.
The bible teaches “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” This is the signature example of operating from an “Abundance Mentality”. This simply means that you see yourself as able to give and share with others. You’re not as worried about “counting the beans” as you are “sowing the rows”. And because of that the beans come in aplenty.
The lesson is: If you give people more than they expect then the bottom line will never take a beating. I certainly hope that the manager of location “A” understands this before it’s too late. If not, I wonder how much a Moe’s franchise costs?