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Do You Or Don't You?

Do You Serve Food to Staff? Here’s What Your Peers Do

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Yes: 63%

Sometimes it is a spontaneous splurge in the middle of the week, sort of just because. Other times, when I am faced with having three staff members and none of us can leave the store, I order pizza or make sandwiches in our kitchen. If we have made our monthly goal sooner than expected, then we celebrate with food. We are very food motivated! I also try to keep snacks on hand for us. Maria Aguirre, Benold’s Jewelers, Austin, TX

  • When we built the store, we put a kitchen in, so I make lunch most days and the idea is that healthy eating promotes a good foundation for one’s lifestyle. Joseph Delefano, Regency Jewelers, Rotterdam, NY
  • Occasionally during the year on a Saturday if it’s been an exceptionally good or sometimes bad week to increase morale. Once a week during the Christmas season. Valerie King, King Jewelers, Cohasset, MA
  • We supply during all special events and during the holidays. This year, we also had a turkey dinner giving thanks to our amazing team, halfway to Thanksgiving. Tonia Ulsh, Mountz Jewelers, Camp Hill, PA
  • Any time we are crunched for time and it would take them out of productivity, I feed them! I feed my staff lunch every day between Black Friday and Dec. 24. They love it and it means I have less down time. We do everything from a grocery store spread of sandwiches to catering Thai from our favorite place. I make big pots of chili and other soups, or my staff can sign up to bring in a favorite recipe. Laurie Langdon-Gerber, Elisa Ilana Jewelry, Omaha, NE
  • Starbucks every morning and lunch 3-4 times a week. It’s my way of saying thank you for doing a great job. David Ellestad, Larkin Jewelers, Tacoma, WA
  • Monday through Friday, the staff is on their own. On Saturdays, I provide lunch for staff. Jonathan A. Blatter, Edian Jewelry, Hialeah, FL
  • We started keeping a snack basket, mainly for our college age sales staff. Our busiest hours are 11-2 and this allows them to come in straight from class! We also use several delivery services. I have found it keeps us all well connected to treat a lunch once a week! Linda McEathron, Design House, Waco, TX
  • Breakfast one day a week for our early morning sales meeting. Also, when a sale is going on, we provide lunch. Joe Thacker, Thacker Jewelry, Lubbock, TX
  • I provide healthy as well as fun snacks and fluids every day to keep productivity up and moods up and express gratitude for hard work. We bring in breakfast or lunch to celebrate each crew member’s birthday and work-iversary as well as to celebrate when they hit monthly goals. Food is love and fun. We keep it flowing! Steven & Katherine Lesse, Abracadabra Jewelry and Gem Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI
  • We provide snacks and dried fruit with nuts. Some health items and others that are just good. We buy lunch once or twice a week for everyone. We treat our staff like family and all grab a bite of lunch when we can. They are able to leave the store for lunch if they want to and sign out and in when they return. Scott Kelly, Jems Jewels & Gold, North Wales, PA
  • We keep snacks and water in the kitchen for purchase for very modest fees of 25 cents each. This makes it easier for someone to take a brief break without needing to go anywhere. Kim Hatchell, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC
  • We bring in food on Saturdays. It eases the pain when the weather is nice and sales are slow. David Kammeraad, Preusser Jewelers, Grand Rapids, MI
  • During events and during the busiest days of the holiday season, I provide lunch as well as some breakfasts. I think it’s a little thing that makes them feel appreciated. In addition, they know that on these busy days, there may not be much time for lunch, so they eat quickly and get back out on the floor to sell. They don’t have to plan or think about food, which, hopefully, keeps them customer-focused! Kristin Cornwell, Cornwell Jewelers, Athens, OH
  • I buy lunch for everyone when we celebrate a staff birthday, or Starbucks for everyone if we had an evening event the night before. I keep the fridge full of everyone’s favorite drinks and the cupboard full of protein snacks. It helps keep them focused in the afternoon. Dianna Rae High, Dianna Rae Jewelry, Lafayette, LA
  • We provide breakfast every week for the store meeting. Since our employees are required to come in an hour early it is one less thing for them to worry about. Russell Criswell, Vulcan’s Forge, Kansas City, MO
  • Friday night pizza; we close at 6 p.m. now, but when we are open later, it gets them through until closing. They eat in between customers, so they don’t lose the ability to earn. Saturday morning donuts; we bring in all different types. It’s exciting to see that box open and see 12 different decorated donuts! (It’s the details!) We always provide free Coke, Diet Coke, Keurig choices, pretzels, animal crackers, nuts, peanut butter crackers, quality candies. No generic brands! And yes, it’s a pain always keeping everything stocked. As owners, we feel it is a benefit. Some employees are grateful. Some will always expect it. We feel more appreciate it than do not. Christine Matlack, E.G. Landis Jewelers, Boyertown, PA
  • We are in the Midwest; lunch is what you can shove in your pie hole in 15 minutes or less! For a small store, we move a lot of customers through our doors. Since my goldsmith, my manager and I share the burden of production, I buy lunch for us every day. I look at it like this: these people go above and beyond for me and my store. I am happy to provide coffee, lunch or whatever makes their day better. I appreciate their loyalty, their unfailing work ethic and most of all their honesty! Also it bolsters the feeling of being a working unit, a team and a pretty amazing bad ass machine. I also take them to shows; when you hear them tell “the story” on the floor, my sales soar! Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL

No: 37%

  • We previously bought lunch for employees but found that the perk was abused. Employees would eat lunch at the store and then leave and run errands. Bob Richards, Bob Richards Jewelers, Germantown, TN
  • They bring what they want. I have a fridge, microwave and toaster oven. Sara DeSpain, Sara DeSpain Fine Jewelry, Duck, NC
  • We only provide refreshments on sale days for the customers and staff if the staff works overtime. Judy Stanley, Skippack Jewelers, Harleysville, PA
  • Too costly. Jeffrey Debs, Debs Jewelers & Gemologists, Philadelphia, PA
  • Everyone tends to bring their own here. We have a vegetarian and the rest of us are always on different eating regimes! And when we do eat together, we order a lot of takeout! Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
  • I have in the past, but everyone’s taste is different and it was impossible to please them all. Donnie Blanton, Brittany’s Fine Jewelry, Gainesville, FL
  • Tried as a benefit, but tastes varied so much it was difficult to manage. Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • We do occasional donut days and lunch on us, but we think every employee deserves a break away from the store for lunch. (We should take that same advice, but, #ownerprobs). We do have beverages available to our customers and employees, and when we receive cookies from our customers (which actually happens quite a bit), we all share. Beth Cevasco, Scott’s Custom Jewelers, Fairlawn, OH
  • Can no longer write it off, so it would not help the bottom line. Craig C. Curtis, Belfast Jewelry, Belfast, ME

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Do You Or Don't You?

7 Out Of 10 Jewelers Surveyed Will Do House Calls

Those that won’t cite security concerns.

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Yes: 70%

  • I will go see my existing clients with whom I have a relationship or have them come to my home office. I recently moved from one suburb to another. I feel it’s not fair making my old clients drive an extra half-hour to my new location, so I give them the option of having me come to them or coming to my home, which is near my old location. — Shahraz Kassam, Shamin Diamonds, Surrey, BC
  • My most recent was a trip to a doctor’s office to adjust eight watches that were purchased for Christmas for all the nurses. — Jim Wolf, James Wolf Jewelers, Mason, OH
  • Limited occasions, rarely for the sake of financial gain but more of a “do into others” good karma situation. Usually, it’s delivery of a completed item to an overwhelmed, homebound or otherwise in-need person. Recently, we delivered a chain repair to a woman whose homebound hospice patient husband broke his cross chain. We fixed and delivered it for free because it was right. I’d never her seen her before, but I couldn’t take her money. — Heather Wahl, R.C. Wahl Jewelers, Des Plaines, IL
  • If the sale calls for it and is going to close but requires something extra. If delivering a ring means the engagement is going to happen on time and we’re going to get the sale, I am going to do it. I don’t mind taking a ride to make sure my customers are happy! — Evan Silbert, Thurber Jewelers, Elk River, MN
  • I’m a private jeweler, so this is the norm for me. Businesspeople and people in the country music business that have very full schedules. Disclaimer, though, is I do have to know them or have vetted them very well. — Ben Brantley, Ben Brantley & Co., Shelbyville, TN
  • We have gone to people’s homes to deliver a gift as a surprise. We have gone to people’s care homes to cut a ring off because they won’t come off naturally. We’ve even delivered reports to people at work if they cannot leave during their work day! — Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
  • All the time. Home, office, golf course or bar — delivering something nice or bringing a few options for someone to choose from is thrilling to me. It’s something my good customers love and tell people about; sometimes I end up serving the whole office. — Ray Lantz, The Diamond Center, Claremont, CA
  • We will make house calls anytime. I just did one last diamond ring for one of my favorite and best clients. He was deteriorating rapidly and needed me to come to his house. What a privilege to help someone’s legacy live on through a token of love! — Natasha Henderson, Saxon’s Fine Jewelers, Bend, OR
  • I have a customer waiting for me to come over and go through her jewelry so she and her husband can decide who to leave pieces for between her nieces and nephews. She is not in shape to come in. I have taken loose diamonds and complete rings and wedding sets to ladies in the hospital before and made sales on them all! — Cindy Fuller, Fuller Designs, Poplar Bluff, MO
  • I do a lot of probate work, and it is much easier on the families to have the sorting and appraisal prep work done in a more comfortable setting. It also saves time and return trips. Quite often, people become emotional when handling the deceased’s jewelry, and it helps if they are at home. — Jim Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH
  • I have a customer who has ALS. He has been with us since we opened 14 years ago. He is not able to make it to the store since he is confined to a wheelchair. It’s easy because his wife and I have the same taste in jewelry. I bring 4-5 things and he picks one. I wrap it in our fancy bags. She calls every time and thanks me, and it makes my whole month just to see her happy for that brief moment. That’s what it is all about for me. — Karen Hollis, K. Hollis Jewelers, Batavia, IL
  • To make personal custom design appointments using a laptop and Countersketch. To assess a client’s jewelry inventory for storage options, which provides a great way to see their entire collection of jewelry and wardrobe so you’ll know their style preferences in the future. — Jessica Rossomme, Mucklow’s Fine Jewelry, Peachtree City, GA

No: 30%

  • Never requested. We have been open for 62 years and have an aging customer base that may need assistance. I’m sure if requested by a repeat customer for some very important reason, we would make that call. — Toni Kinder, Farr’s Jewelry, Ogden, UT
  • Rarely and only if customer is physically challenged. — Sam F. Edwards, Sam Edwards Jewelers, Chattanooga, TN
  • If we were really sucking wind, I would start to do so. Fortunately, we have not had to do so. — Joseph Villarreal, Villarreal Fine Jewelers, Austin, TX
  • I used to, way back, but have no time now. Also, my store has a special ambiance, which sustains our image as creative designers; showing jewelry elsewhere robs it of the magic. — Eve J. Alfille, Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Evanston, IL
  • Afraid of robbery. — Alexander Rysman, Romm Diamonds, Brockton, MA
  • Too high a risk factor. What’s the point of having a store if you make house calls? The store is a much more secure and comfortable environment. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA
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Do You Or Don't You?

Only 31% of Surveyed Jewelers Have a Structured Onboarding Program for New Employees

Most feel they are too small to bother with it.

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Yes: 31%

  • I’ve had a general manager for the first time the last two years and I also have a sales manager. They now take all new staff through a training program, but I don’t think it’s what it needs to be. It doesn’t include the history of our company, our philosophy, values, or the “why” we do what we do — it’s more nuts and bolts, like, “Here’s how you write up a repair, enter a sale, here’s where the bathrooms are, here’s how you read up on the brands we carry, etc.” — Valerie Naifeh, Naifeh Fine Jewelry, Oklahoma City, OK
  • The first couple of days are spent reading and learning our policies and procedures. From there, a lot of shadowing and online training; we need to break bad habits. — Tom Schowalter, Miner’s Den Jewelers, Royal Oak, MI
  • I wrote two booklets to help new employees. One was a day-by-day training (to be conducted with an existing staff member). The other is about a hundred questions that I want them to learn (what’s the difference between 14K and 18K gold, pros and cons of platinum heads, what the danger code word is and what to do, etc.). — Peter Tims, White Mountain Jewelers, Show Low, AZ
  • We have a training manual and I ask each existing staff member to choose areas of expertise to train the new staffer. I include my entire staff in training a new member. This gives each of them time to get to know the new person and creates a sense of community. — Kristin Cornwell, Cornwell Jewelers, Athens, OH
  • My daughter manages one-on-one training and is good at recognizing and promoting specific talents. She has created a manual and chore lists, and empowered new hires to improve them. — Eve J. Alfille, Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, Evanston, IL
  • We use 10-day training checklists followed over time by multiple two-hour courses on different topics. — Robert Borneman, Diamond Jewelers, Centereach, NY
  • New hires are to work behind the scenes and shadow for one month. During that time, we drill on how we gather information, make wish list entries, take in guidelines, layaway, etc. Then on weeks five and six, they are allowed to engage customers. Time flies and everyone bemoans the first month, and THEN I hear: “Wow! This system take so long to learn. There are so many rules. We have a lot of customers; how can you remember everyone’s name? How am I supposed to do a complicated return and smile?” — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • New staff participate in our morning meeting every day for 30 minutes, going over new product, new policies, new pricing, role play and the daily challenge. New staff are not allowed on the floor for two weeks, then we place them on a staged pricing routine starting with showing products under $500. When we see how this is handled, we increase to $ 1,000, and so on. — Ragnar Bertelsen, Ragnar Jewellers, Vancouver, BC
  • The store manual covers everything. It’s great reading for insomniacs. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN

No: 47%

  • There is never enough time to structure and enforce it properly. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • Our turnover has been low, but now that is changing. I will need to develop one for the new people I have to find and hire. — John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI
  • We’re family run, so it’s more “trial by fire” when we have someone come in. — Wadeana Beveridge, Community Jewelry, Brandon, FL
  • Working on one. Just brought on new employee this week. Some protocol but not written in stone, let alone on paper. — Michael Cook, Walter J. Cook Jeweler, Paoli, PA
  • I’m not a corporation, nor do I want my new employees to feel that way. We train the way we want to train and it’s different every single time. It really just depends on the person and how they learn best. — Marcus Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Do You Or Don't You?

Our Brain Squad Sounds Off On Security Guards

92% of all stores don’t have one.

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Yes: 8%

  • We had an armed robbery in February of 2018. We brought on our officers after that to protect the store and evaluate customers. We planned to only keep them until we had our mantrap doors installed, but shortly after install, we heard another rumor of a gang member discussing robbing our store, so we have kept them on. I like having them because it relieves our staff of the responsibility of evaluating customers. Our officers can easily protect them and move any odd customers out of the store. We are in a heavy walking traffic area with a lot of tourists, and customers mostly thank our officers for protecting them. If they ask why we have officers, we tell them it’s to allow our staff to better focus on service and sales. — Elizabeth Kittell, Pretty In Patina, Omaha, NE
  • Customers love it, staff loves it. Everyone feels safe and also that any jewelry they buy from us or leave with us is safe. Ours are off-duty uniformed sheriff deputies, though, and that may make a difference. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • We hire our local PD at Christmas when we are open late to do details. It is expensive, but it gives me great peace of mind. It also makes it so I don’t need to be there every hour. In the end, we get to know our local officers and they appreciate the cushy detail. Most have wives or girlfriends (or are female officers), so sometimes they even buy something. — Mark Snyder, Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA
  • We sell high-end watches, so customers and employees feel much safer with a guard at the door. Today, most insurance companies require it. Besides, we have been robbed before and our jeweler was shot. After that, I said I would no longer work in our downtown store. The guard can have my paycheck so we feel safe! — Teddie Gause, Gause & Son Jewelers, Ocala, FL
  • Customers love it, staff loves it. Everyone feels safe and also that any jewelry they buy from us or leave with us is safe. Ours are off-duty uniformed sheriff deputies, though, and that may make a difference. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL

No: 92%

  • I used to have one until an off-duty policeman said, “Do you really want someone with a minimal education to have a gun in your store?” That was one reason. The second reason was the confidentiality issue. Did not like that they were hearing what was going on. Now I have a locked door and like it a lot better. — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX
  • Added security will not be productive because the current clientele do not pose a risk and we are not big enough for the professional to bother us. We have a great alarm system along with CCTV with monitors outside of the sales floor. Law enforcement response to an alarm is less than one minute away. — E.L. Menk Jewelers, Brainerd, MN
  • We do not because of the extra cost. Missouri is also a concealed-carry state, and we can and do carry our own firearms at times. We are well-trained on personal security and have taken courses on how to be safe and what to do in case of a robbery. — Scott Schlagenhauff, Jewelry By Morgan, Kansas City, MO
  • Sadly, I believe that having a guard makes the environment consistently tense and exudes distrust. We prefer to keep staff trained in security measures to allow our customers a warm, inviting atmosphere. — Morgan Bartel, Susann’s Custom Jewelers, Corpus Christi, TX
  • We live in a relatively safe place and we all carry a weapon. Keep in mind that the weapons are for saving lives, not jewelry. — Chris Snowden, Snowden’s Jewelers, Wilmington, NC
  • We do not have a security guard, but we do have a locked door with a door buzzer and a doorbell that alerts us that someone is at the door. — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL
  • Robbers can take it all. I have insurance; I don’t need any gunplay in my store. — Donald Killelea, Killelea Jewelers, Midlothian, IL
  • We had one, which seemed to intimidate clients. We have installed self-locking doors, a mantrap and clearly visible cameras inside and out. — Steven Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • When we have had security guards in the past, it made our customers feel uncomfortable. We buzz customers in through a double door system. No system is foolproof. We all need to be very aware of what is happening at all times. — Bob Richards, Bob Richards Jewelers, Germantown, TN
  • We are fortunate in that our retail center provides 24/7 armed security as part of our common area maintenance. It was certainly a plus in choosing our location. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Continue Reading

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