June 1, 2002 by  Ashley Guberman

Recently, I went to a restaurant called Shari’s, which is part of a national chain.

On a wall in the lobby was a plaque of their “Mission Statement”, made of engraved metal on a wooden background. It said something about dedication to customers, quality food, and employees who care.

So I sat down, and during the meal I asked our server “Do you know what the Mission Statement for Shari’s is?”

He didn’t even have a clue what I was talking about. I told him it was OK, and that I was just testing a theory that posting the mission on the wall does not help make it real for the employees.

Afterwards, I went up front to pay, and they were more than a little busy. The manager came out from the back to ring us up, and I asked him the same question. He stammered a bit, and quickly asked one of the employees with an armload of food to tell me what the Mission Statement was. Clearly, since he didn’t know it, he chose to delegated the task. The employee frowned at him, and kept going with her food.

I kept looking at the manager, who said “uh… hold on…. I should know this, right?” He processed my charge card, then started saying something vaguely in line with the statement… he knew it has something to do with quality food, but that’s about all he could get out.

So I asked him “Do you at least know where it is posted?”

“Yeah, we’ve got that thing up in at least a few places around here. There’s one around the corner, I think.”

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