I don’t have the data to answer that question but I have two anecdotes that make me wonder:
A breakfast restaurant near my office opens at 7:00 a.m. The Panera Bread Company next door opens earlier and is always busy. When I tried the “later opening” restaurant recently, there were a dozen people milling around outside at 7:05. I knew with their late start and crowd of people the chances of getting in and out quickly were diminished so went elsewhere.
Is business so good there that they can afford to make customers wait?
A major hotel chain down the street from my office has a restaurant. I dropped by for a quick breakfast. There were two diners in the place when I was seated. I saw one waitperson wander slowly to a table, ask a question, then wander away. After reading the first section of my newspaper I decided the chances of getting coffee much less getting food were slim so I left. Interestingly, this was a hotel where we had planned to put up clients when they were in town.
My friend Robert Tucker recently told me he’s not seeing the hustle that we both agree make individuals and companies successful. One thing about a recession: it certainly focuses your attention. Hustle, or initiative, must increase for survival.
Now that the economy seems to be improving, the hustle–at least in the service examples I experienced–seems to be decreasing.
What do you think?