It's a Yes or Yes Question

September 16, 2013

It's a Yes or Yes Question

When you can't quit, you gotta find another way out.

Here's my story.

When I was in my twenties, I spent some time as the assistant manager of the coffee shop in the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore.

The place was called Cascades, and it was my daily responsibility to open the shop . I had to wake up at 5 AM to get there in time every morning. It was a crazy intense job; sometimes there would already be 300 guests lined up waiting to eat by the time I got to work.

While the work at Cascades was invigorating, it was torture to wake up so early every morning. I could never get used to that. But I couldn’t quit. That was not part of my DNA.

So I had to find another way out.

“How can I get promoted?” I asked myself. “How can I get to a higher position?”

"What Else can I do for Hyatt?"

Then it hit me—increase the average check price.

Restaurants are always looking to grow the average amount of money their diners spend. Usually, they do this by pushing wine and other alcoholic beverages, and dessert. But those weren’t options for a place that served so much breakfast; I was going to have to be more creative.

The impressive fresh-squeezed orange juice maker we had at Cascades gave me an idea.

See, I had just learned about the “Yes or Yes” theory at a sales seminar.

I put a big display of oranges outside the entrance to the restaurant, and while guests were lined up to get in, I had a waitress ask each customer if they would like coffee or juice. Little room for a "no" in that question.

As it happened, most people said “Both.” Who doesn’t want coffee and juice in the morning?

Pretty soon, the coffee or juice proposition became standard operating practice at all Hyatt coffee shops—along with the welcoming display of fresh oranges.

Never ask a person a Yes or No question when it could be Yes or Yes instead.

(And don't quit if you can find a better way "out"!)

Leave a comment

Also in "What Else?" Blog

The Things I Wish I Knew
The Things I Wish I Knew

August 18, 2017 3 Comments

"Yeah, having houses across the globe gives my wife something to do, but its all bullshit. I couldn’t care less about them. The only thing that matters in life is relationships with friends and family. That’s it."


Continue Reading

A "Perfect" night in the Bronx
A "Perfect" night in the Bronx

August 16, 2017

On the most recent episode of my podcast, Unplugged with Brandon Steiner, I spoke with former New York Yankees legend Don Larsen.

Continue Reading

The Key to Happiness Has Been Staring You in the Face
The Key to Happiness Has Been Staring You in the Face

August 14, 2017

At the end of the day there are a lot of ways to measure success and happiness. Wouldn't you much rather enjoy the things you have to do?

Continue Reading