Task Purpose vs. Task Action

Katy Montgomery

Resy is a mobile app for people who love eating out at great restaurants but hate hassling for reservations. It allows diners to pay for access to hot tables on tight timelines. One of Resy’s co-founders is Ben Leventhal, who also co-founded eater.com, a website that provides news and dining guides from across the country. Recently, Leventhal posted an article on LinkedIn titled, “Why are the Best Restaurants Obsessed with Knowing their Guests?”

Resy allows restaurants to collate notes about a particular customer. When that customer returns to the restaurant, those notes appear alongside their new reservation.  The takeaway is not the actual reading of the notes when the customer returns (although it does help in creating a very personal experience), the takeaway is what occurs when the server enters the notes into the system. Leventhal quotes Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park (which I can personally attest is worth every bit of the hype):

“A server who has been charged with having to put notes in at the end of the night about as many of their guests as possible needs to be more present at the table, needs to really engage, to truly listen, and to establish some level of a genuine relationship, so before the notes even get into the system, the hospitality is already better than it otherwise would have been had they not been charged with collecting that information.”

All of us have been tasked with entering notes into various systems at some point.  During a job search, a number of you will be taking notes while attending an employer information session or participating in an informational interview.  As you build relationships, you may take notes to remember a previous conversation, recall the initial connection, or to indicate a future a need to follow-up.

Sometimes we see notes as an additional requirement or data-keeping exercise; instead, think about what happens when you process the conversation into written format.  Think about how the process can influence how you engage with an employer or a relationship later down the road.

To make those notes especially helpful to yourself, what are you doing during the interaction to later draft an effective note?

Just another way to think about the “why” we do something (and of course, once again touching on the importance of relationships!) rather than the practice of doing it.