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  • Ronnie Apteker

SERVICE, PLEASE?


I used to be a waiter when I was at university. For seven years I waited on tables, on an average of three nights per week. The restaurant I worked at was very busy and the shifts were intense. I had a lot of fun and I worked hard. I made nice money (tax free) from tips, and it was good training. Yeah, waitering teaches you about writing stuff down, and managing expectations.

A restaurant is a very difficult business, from what I experienced. Of course the food has to be excellent, but also, the service has to be good too. Restaurants are all about people, in the kitchen, on the floor looking after customers, the food suppliers, the people who service the cooking equipment, and of course, the customers. Word-of-mouth drives restaurant success more than anything – that has been my experience. Making sure customers are delighted is what it is all about.

On a restaurant floor you typically have waiters, sometimes a host or maître d’ who welcomes you at the door, and seats you at your table (assuming you have reservation). I worked at a successful and busy restaurant. It was always packed – you had to have a reservation during peak times. Then there may be a wine steward and perhaps a sommelier. And there is always a restaurant manager, and perhaps even a hands on owner or chef, who walks around when a peak rush is over, and greets customers and chats with them. Everyone plays a role in making sure the customers feels good and that the service is the best it can be.

The roles of the restaurant manager and the host deserve some inspection. They should not be simply about mechanics, where they come by at the worst time, when you have a mouth full of food and soullessly say, in a heavy foreign accent “Is everything ok?” First of all, we don’t want “ok” we want “good” or “great”. Second of all, make sure you come over at the right time. People chewing on food struggle to talk, so put some effort in ‘manager person’, and develop some savvy. Go on some training. The restaurant manager does walk around and checks on customers, and checks that food is going out of the kitchen promptly, and that people aren’t looking around trying to get a new fork (because their fork fell on the floor), etc. But it is more than this.

A good restaurant manager makes sure you want to keep coming back. They make sincere conversation, they listen, they recommend dishes, they find your waiter when he/she is around the corner playing on their phone (which they shouldn’t be). Perhaps you are about to have a romantic evening, and the manager is helping to make sure that all goes perfectly. Perhaps the manager brings over a bunch of roses when you give the signal. The manager of a restaurant, when they are good, solves problems, facilitates and communicates.

This is what PYGIO is about. PYGIO is not about matchmaking. Yes, PYGIO does connect customers needing software talent with programming resources that can offer a development service. But this connecting of people, the matchmaking, is just a small part of it. PYGIO is about making sure the marriage never ends, and that it grows from strength to strength. It is not about being a mechanical host, that is clueless, and asks you “Is all ok?” when you have a mouth full of food.

When I think back, fondly, of my days in the restaurant, I remember there were times when it was so packed, there was a queue waiting to be seated, and sometimes it was hard to run between all your tables and look after everyone like you would want to. And in those days customers did not have mobile phones to distract us them. Yeah, it was hard work, and one could not be lazy or slow to survive in a happening restaurant. Often the restaurant manager would add value, and this only works when the manager is on the ball.

At PYGIO we are on the ball, and our mission is to facilitate the journey between the customer and the software resources in such a way so as to realise the maximum potential. And so we can go from strength to strength with each customer, as we grow together.

Facilitation starts with an introduction, and then it becomes about regular and constructive communications. It is about problem solving, about being proactive, and about being a few steps ahead. The biggest challenge is about working amongst very different cultures. English is not the big obstacle here, but rather, culture. To make sure you have the best experience and result, understanding how to get things done, is the difference between winning and losing.

PYGIO makes sure you win. And not only the customers, the developers too. If everyone has a good experience, then we go from strength to strength. The customer, the software house, the talent, and PYGIO.

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