Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Open Letter to Steak and Shake

Many of you may have never heard of our homegrown hamburger chain but some of you I am sure have had a Double Steakburger with Cheese and a Chocolate Shake at some time in your life and they are really awesome.....well at least they use to be.

Steak and Shake has been in the news of late with hostile investors trying to get on the board, firing their CEO and conference calls that in all honesty blame their problems on everything under the sun except them selves. Well they don't need Wall Street, Mega investors or 20 MBA's to come in and fix it for them. The board needs to load them selves up in a van and make a little trip.

No they don't have to go far. They need to drive up to the Noblesville Dairy Queen. A recent trip to the ice cream wonderland got me thinking about Steak and is what they need to notice.

First as you walk in a seasoned Ice Cream Parlor manager says Hi, Welcome to Dairy Queen. He is dressed in a ironed White shirt and tie. His name tag says he is the manager but my guess is he is much more. After his welcome he asks if he can take our order or if we have any questions...hmm. Well this particular DQ does not serve burgers so that is a bit different then Steak and Shake but they do serve Hot Dogs and Shakes and Ice cream. He treated Nash with respect as he did all his customers asking him "What would you like young man?" he took all our orders. We sat down to wait and I started noticing a few more things.

1. The DQ had not had an overhaul in a long time and looked just like a DQ from when I was much younger. But with that said there was not a single thing in that DQ that needed repaired or replaced. It was in almost perfect condition.
2. It was spotless!!! From the floors, tables, walls, windows, restrooms to the cooking and preparation area it was spotless. I mean I looked under the fountain coke dispenser and you could see your reflection in the stainless steel.
3. The other thing I noticed as the manager and one of his school age employee's made the ice cream treats that had been ordered is that they were not slapping them together as fast as they could. They where actually taking their time to offer us not only our favorite item but that is was an artistic masterpiece at the same time. And they tasted really good to. Nash and I went through more napkins then need to be shared in this post.
4. And you know what, when we were done and leaving the manager leaned over the counter and said thank you for visiting us gang and come back and see us real soon.

Well growing up in the biz, I can tell you I don't get my expectations blown away often but they sure did a great job of impressing me.

Well I am sure neither Steak and Shake or all the Wall Street Wonders that can tell you how you should run your business will visit the Noblesville Dairy Queen or will the seek my advice.


Anyway, as for me...... Hey Nash, let's go to Dairy Queen!

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