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Suzi Shopper: Nacho…What??  Test Your Training!

Suzi Shopper: Thoughts on business from a consumer’s perspective

I had the privilege of attending the Monday Night Football game last week. We didn’t have time to grab dinner beforehand and had decided to get the junk food fare at the stadium.

My coworker and I found a concession where the line wasn’t too long and made our way through the line – famished! I stepped up to place my order and asked about a menu item that had me curious. “What’s on the Pile On Nachos?” My server, sweet as she was, replied, “I don’t know – there’s some cheese and some sauce and some meat and olives and something else.” I immediately ordered the cheeseburger and after paying, walked off wondering if she had any clue how put off I was (and disappointed – they never serve the dressed up burger pictured on the menu).

I also wondered if her superiors had any clue that that was her response to “What’s on the Pile On Nachos?” and if others gave the same reply. I later saw several barrels of Pile On Nachos, and by the end of the night I couldn’t stand the smell of them. Visions of mystery meat covered in mystery sauce plagued me. And because of the visual that was created by my server, the smell came with the same negative connotation.

Later, I saw this sign:

Ingredients of the Pile On Nachos

If I had only seen the sign instead of relying on an undertrained (or under-tested) employee, I probably would have indulged in the nachos. I probably would have enjoyed them, but the visual she created with her description trumped all.

This experience brings to mind these questions for my retailer friends:

Do you test your employees to ensure your training sticks?

Do you include in your training that, once you make a bad impression, it takes a lot to get back to square one, the unknown?