Thinking Exponentially. Are You Looking At Everything Through Your Patients’ Eyes?

One of my big bugbears reared its head over the last two weeks.

It’s the question as to when to remove diners’ plates from the table.

Should they be removed individually as soon as each diner is finished eating their meal?

Or should they be removed collectively only once the last diner has completed their meal?

There’s a Dental Correlation to this puzzle…too…

I’ve always been of the belief that it is nothing short of bad manners and bad etiquette to remove dinner plates from the table while others are still eating.


For a start, the action of clearing becomes an unwelcome interruption to what may be a very interesting and stimulating conversation.

Once the action of clearing and removing plates has begun, conversation often grinds to an unwanted halt, as the act of clearing now dominates the table.

And in this case, the action of clearing is all about the intentions of the clearer, not the wishes of the diners.

The clearer may be just trying to be efficient and tidy, or they may be clearing “as they go” so that there is less to clear later.

A second reason for *NOT* clearing plates until all diners have finished dining is that it simply makes those still yet to complete their meals feel uncomfortable about the fact that they are still eating.

It can also make those who have finished their meals first feel like they had been gluttonous and scoffed down their food too quickly, compared to the pace of their dining companions?

Now, there are logical reasons for clearing plates as they become empty.

For a start, it means that diners don’t have to sit there with dirty plates and bones in front of them. So there’s an aesthetic question here.

In a restaurant, it can also mean that there will be quicker turnaround time for the table, though not much, between dining parties.

I’ve heard it said though, that in this sort of situation, that the speed of clearing the plates while others are still dining also relates proportionately to the speed of the diminishing tip left by those diners.

How does this dining etiquette question relate to the Dental Surgery?

I’ve discussed this in previous blogs.

At the end of the day, do you clean up around your practice while patients are still in the treatment area?

Does your last patient of the day have to listen to brooms, mops and vacuum cleaners operating in the background?

Does your last patient have to tippy toe across a freshly mopped wet corridor floor?

Is this fair on the last patient?

Should the final patient of the day feel that they are “in the way” of staff trying to clean up and get out of the place?

Why should the final guests at our Dental Office be subject to a feeling of Dental Rush Hour?

Why should the last patients of the day feel anything less than exemplary Customer Service?

The reason some dining places clear plates “as you go” is because those places are simply not looking at the dining as being an *EXPERIENCE* for their valued Customers.

Are you looking at your patients’ visits from the patients’ viewpoints?

Do you want your patient feeling like they’ve been “in the way”?

That they’ve received a “Rush Job”, so everyone at the Office can get out of there quickly?

It’s the same thing with the plate clearing.

Why should those diners be made to feel uncomfortable?

After all, they’re paying for the dining *EXPERIENCE*.

So let me ask you, are you giving *ALL* of your valued patients a truly Ultimate Experience

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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