Chain hires professional conversationalist to help staff engage in friendly banter
Pizza Express has taken their customer service to a whole new level by teaching their staff how to serve up a pizza topped with a few flirtatious remarks.
The chain has hired theatre director and professional conversationalist Karl James to help staff engage in friendly banter, modify their body language to show more friendliness, and even flirt with the customer occasionally, albeit in an appropriate manner.
Founder of The Dialogue Project, James has two simple beliefs that inform everything he does. “Firstly we think the world would be a healthier happier and more produce place if people understood each other better than they do. And we think that’s a teachable skill.
“Secondly we believe that important and inspiring breakthroughs in thinking occur when you bring together people whose paths wouldn’t otherwise cross. That’s why we spend most of our time creating opportunities for dialogue.”
Although there are some concerns from those who believe this method could border on inappropriate conduct. However, Pizza Express say that employees are not soliciting romance on the side, but are merely learning how to be friendly with their customers and have an outgoing and pleasant personality.
Pizza Express marketing manager Emma Woods said: "We want to stimulate conversations by the way we serve and entertain customers with music and taking away noise."
Watch Karl James put his conversational theories to the test with Pizza Express staff:
October 19, 2010