Sticky Note

Definition Of A Standard

What is a Standard?  How do you define “Standard”?

We constantly use the word “standard” in restaurant lingo.  In fact, most businesses use the word “standard” to clarify expectations.  The word “standard” occurs in most corporate policies and procedures.  You’ll often hear managers make the statement: “This is not up to standards”.

So I ask again: What is a Standard?  Please define “Standard”.

Stop and think about it for a minute.  Don’t tell me Webster’s definition.  O. K., let me tell you Webster’s definition in case you think that is what I’m expecting to hear.  Webster defines a standard as:  something set up as a rule for measuring or as a model to be followed. (1)

Now do you know the meaning of a standard?  Do you understand what a standard really is?  Can you execute to standards?

Let me make it plain:  A Standard is the “least acceptable”.  It is the “least acceptable” amount.  It is the “least acceptable” performance.  It is the “least acceptable” behavior.  A Standard is the least that you will accept from someone.

Example:  the Standard is to be at work on-time at the time scheduled.  Xax always comes to work five minutes after scheduled time.  You allow it.  Five minutes late becomes the new standard.

Example:  the Standard is one pack of ketchup per french fry for to-go orders.  Lilac never counts how many fries are in the bag – she just tosses in ever how many ketchup packs she picks up.  You never discuss the standard with Lilac or enforce the Standard.  Handfuls of ketchup now become the new standard, even if there are no fries in the bag.

Remember It – Discuss It – Teach It with your Management Staff:  A Standard is the least acceptable.  It is the least that I will accept!


Source:  (1) Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus, 2007 Edition

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