A couple of weeks ago I met out-of-province friends at a downtown restaurant. My friend’s wife was first to order and asked for one of the specialty burgers but without chipotle, which normally came with this particular burger. The waitress said this wouldn’t be a problem at all. My friend said he would like the same.

When the order came, one burger came without the chipotle as ordered, but the other did have chipotle. My friend was surprised (not annoyed) since he had order “the same” as his wife.

This is a perfect example of how miscommunication can arise between providers and customers, regardless of industries.

A simple way to prevent these types of errors is for the provider to repeat to the customer, the order placed by the customer.  This confirms the accuracy of the order. In this example, had the waitress said:

“This will be two Specialty Signature Burgers, one without chipotle….”
my friend would have immediately made the correction by responding:
“Sorry, no, we’d like both burgers without chipotle please”.
The order would have been accurate.

Again, this isn’t restricted to the restaurant business. Whenever a verbal order or request is taken from a customer, the best way to ensure the order will be fulfilled accurately is to mirror/repeat the order to the customer for confimation, either verbally or in written form.

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