Thursday, November 14, 2013

Teamwork Cooks Up Superior Satisfaction

I had the extreme pleasure of dining this past week at Per Se in New York City. Many thanks again to my most gracious hostess Shelly Sun of Bright Star Care LLC.

I was in NYC for my Women Presidents’ Organization Platinum meeting. I look forward to these meetings because I always come away with great ideas for growing my business. I’m a foodie and I love a great meal but dining at Per Se transcends eating to a whole different level and it truly is an experience that one will remember for a long time to come. While the food is phenomenal what makes the experience so exceptional is the service that is wrapped around the food. At a basic level serving food is a commodity. Creating a world class experience that makes customers rave about you sets you apart. From the moment I stepped into the room for our meal I was treated like the most important person in the room.
Teamwork in the kitchen of Per Se in New York
The level of communication between the staff was fabulous. I have several food allergies. Not a problem, and once communicated the rest of the night was flawless with everything being put before me, regardless of the server, being void of the allergy foods. Even with the passed hors d’oeuvres a special version was created for me, without asking, several times. Course after course was delivered with flawless timing. Though a long meal, the pace was consistent and well timed. It was like watching a well-run machine.

The French Laundry kitchen streaming video at Per Se.
After our meal we were treated to a tour of the kitchen and that is where you can see the real teamwork in action. It is an amazing system of communication and timing. There is also a transparency to the operations happening in the kitchen. The Per Se kitchen is linked by video to the French Laundry kitchen in Yountville, California.

Allowing both kitchens to view the level of performance occurring at each location. We also learned that everyone starts at the bottom and must work every position as they work their way up the ladder. This allows every employee to know the process of making superior food and delivering a world class experience from every position. Everyone can talk about the food being served in-depth.

This last point is interesting because in America we built a superior level of manufacturing excellence through the use of apprentice systems. Like Per Se, a well-planned educational process was offered to workers, deepening their skill-sets and making them that much better as they moved on to the next classification of their job. Economics, and to some degree technology, has eroded this system. I think we have done our employees and our economy a disservice. We are now feeling the effects with an increasing shortage of skilled labor for the manufacturing sector.

I thought about my own team at home. They are awesome. They build a superior, high quality product. Often with short lead times. Often to a customer's special request. They take great pride in what they create. We receive high marks on our net promoter score surveys.

I can only hope we are creating raving fans like the team at Per Se though it may be hard to be as excited about guide wheels, linear motion systems and complex assemblies! We can’t transport your taste buds through the sublime silky delight of a taste of foie gras but we can deliver phenomenal performance for our customers applications, often in the most critical and extreme environments imaginable.


  1. Hi Pamela, For a minute there I thought you were talking about Thanksgiving dinner at my house but I don't have the video link to my Mom's kitchen in S.C. Great comparison of your experience at Per Se to the state American manufacturing and your operation at BWG.

    Jackie Robinson

  2. Thanks Jackie! Looks like I need to find a way to get an invite to your Mom's kitchen :)