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"Welcome to Moe's" and the Psychology of the Standardized/Forced Greeting and Thank You at Your Company...

For those of you who don't live in the Southeast, you may or may not have experienced two fast food/fast casual eateries:

- Moe's Southwest Grill

- Chick-fil-a

What's common about these two places?  They both force employees to use a standardized greeting or thank you - the employees have to do it a certain way as part of the gig:

- At Moe's:  Somebody on the food prep line has to yell "Welcome to Moe's" every time someone comes through the door.  With enthusiasm.

- At Chick-fil-a:  When you say "thank you", the folks at the counter have to say "My Pleasure".

Does it work?  For the most part, yes.  But, if you had to choose one, the standardized way to say thanks is much easier to pull off than the forced greeting that takes a small yell.

The reason is simple.  It's harder to appear authentic when you have to put enthusiasm into a loud greeting that the entire place can hear - than it is to say thank you to one person (at a normal voice level in a standardized way).  The burden is much lower.

One's public, one's private.  When you perform at Moe's, everyone can hear you.  When you return to Moe's and you sense cynics and jaded employees are giving you the "Welcome to Moe's" line, you're not the only one hearing it - everyone else is as well.  And you're disappointed.  I like Moe's a lot - it's just a high burden for the brand to carry.

The moral of the story?  It's good to build a piece of your hospitality culture around standardized greetings - you just have to make sure that you can deliver on them, and if you can't - that only one person hears the lack of enthusiasm.  

Welcome to the Capitalist!  Black or Pinto beans?


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