Superior customer service is crucial to maintaining a successful restaurant. There are many different components that go into it, from how customers are greeted when they walk in, to wait time, to the cleanliness of your establishment. Customers are coming in to enjoy a meal they did not have to prepare, so you want to be sure they have a pleasant experience that flows seamlessly and is free of frustrations and negativity. Going above and beyond and keeping your customers at the heart of why you do things the way you do will help to differentiate you from competitors and keep them coming back for more. Let’s cover a few practical ways to help ensure a positive customer experience.
The sayings, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” and “A smile goes a long way” have never been more true. You want the first experience the customer has to be a positive one, so be sure you are greeting the people who walk through your doors with a warm welcome. Don’t stop there though. Your staff should be trained to handle all situations with etiquette from taking orders to handling any problems that might arise. Even the most prepared restaurants will run into some type of conflict, so when it happens, be sure to address the customer with respect and handle it quickly. Make eye contact, stay calm, own the mistake and be empathetic.
Keep it Clean
Customers do not want to eat at a restaurant that is not well kept. If they can see dirt, are stepping over messes and the restroom is out of sorts, they are not likely to return. Again, you want to keep the customer in mind when thinking about how you clean all parts of your establishment. Make sure there is a cleaning checklist in place so nothing is overlooked. Some might argue that the cleanliness of a restaurant is the true first impression, so make sure you are making a good one!
Remember, people go out to eat because of the many conveniences that accompany it, so you want to be sure each visit is as effortless as possible. One way to ensure a smooth visit is to go by the table if they are dining in and make sure everything is going well. You don’t want to hover or crowd them, but you want them to know you are available to serve. Evaluate where your company can improve things like wait time, or ordering complexity and utilize technology when you can. Restaurant management software has come a long way and can help your team better serve customers.
The best way to ensure great customer service across the board is to make sure all staff members understand the value it holds. Customer service should be covered during an employee’s training period so when they begin working, they can feel confident in how they greet customers and how they handle problems that arise. Not only does this make for a great work environment, but it increases the possibility of satisfied customers that will want to dine with you again!