What’s a business to do if their main product is difficult to pronounce? That is the challenge facing Greek restauranteurs across the U.S. as American customers see “gyro” and think of pronouncing the “g” as in gyroscope or gyrating.

There are several strategies to alleviate the discomfort patrons may feel, especially those who know it’s not gy-ro but can never remember what it is. Some menus list the items with a picture or a number so diners can just point. But others have become more creative.

A restaurant in New York City named their chain with the phonetic spelling: “The yee-ro joint”. Another’s website has a prominent arrow: “How to pronounce it? – Play to find out!” and then links to the hysterical Jimmy Fallon and Luke Bryan’s official music video: “I don’t know how to pronounce gyro.”

Every organization has something that trips up others. Instead of ignoring it or dealing with the ongoing stumbles, address it head-on in a way that educates but doesn’t embarrass those with the uncertainty.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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