An integral part of any restaurant is its customer service. It doesn’t matter how fabulous your restaurant décor is or how delicious your food is, if the service doesn’t meet or exceed customers’ expectations, there is a good chance they won’t come back.
All restaurant consumers have their own individual expectations about customer service. It would be impossible to list them all, let alone find a way to please every customer, every time — but you should never let that stop you from trying!
Taking your customer services to the next level helps establish brand loyalty and a solid reputation in the market. Taken together, this will help your restaurant leave its competitor’s way behind.
Apart from ensuring consistent, high-quality food, here are some tips for professionals in the restaurant industry on how to provide excellent customer service and become the talk of the town –
Don’t make them wait
If your diners have to wait too long for their first round of drinks, appetizer or meal, it really won’t matter to them that your bartender makes the best martini or the chef prepared the best steak. Your guests are already irritated and hungry.
One sure thing that customers feel when they rate their service experience as bad has to wait too much. No one likes to wait, especially in a restaurant.
Keep your wait times to a minimum, even during rushes. In a restaurant, wait times and customer needs are necessarily the same things, and both are tied for the highest priority. Stay on your toes, stay focused, and keep an ongoing list in your head of who needs what as best as you can.
Whether it’s in a drive-thru or a restaurant with a black-tie dress code, make sure you stay in constant communication with your team about which customers are needing attention & don’t make them wait too much.
When a customer feels something has gone wrong, listen. A pleasant restaurant wait staff or manager knows that listening politely and attentively to customer complaints is part of giving excellent service.
There may be nothing worse than non-responsiveness to a customer who is trying to get help, resolve an issue, or find out more about what you’re selling. It’s essential to respond quickly to all inquiries, even if it is only to say you are looking into the issue and will be back in touch. Some response is always better than none, so the customer doesn’t feel ignored.
Train your waiters & servers well
Train your waiters to be good listeners. So that when your customers talk to them, their concerns & requests are addressed properly. By putting some thought and effort into a restaurant training program, you can immediately emphasize your workplace culture for every new hire and lower the turnover rate for your business.
Providing training to your waiters & servers well can help propel your operation to the next level of professional, award-winning service.
Personalize guest experience
Whether it’s through smooth daily activities or assistance in times of crisis, your POS software is one of the most critical ingredients in the success of any restaurant. So, choose wisely the right Restaurant Management software, and you’ll be on the path to becoming a foundation — and not an afterthought.
A personalized touch goes a long way in making a dining experience fun and memorable for a guest. Small steps like greeting a guest by their first name, putting guests at ease and let them feel cared for and accommodated.
Little details like recognition, attentiveness, and personalization make customers have more memorable dining experiences.
Don’t forget to know the menu inside and out
The first piece of training for restaurant customer service is to understand the menu inside & out. To provide exceptional customer service, the staff needs to have extensive knowledge of the food and beverage products served at the restaurant.
The staff also needs to know about daily specials and be able to communicate these to the customers. It is not enough for the staff to just know the names of the menu items; they should know what comes in each item and have tasted each item. Some restaurants that excel in customer service have their staff regularly try the menu items to provide detailed information about each item. To provide excellent customer service in a restaurant, the staff needs to know the menu.
Incorporate new breed of technologies
Incorporating new kind of technology will, of course, depend on your restaurant type, but some form of technology can be worked into many restaurant business models.
From the cash register to the kitchen, technology is an integral part of how restaurants operate. Whether it’s through smooth daily operations or assistance in times of crisis, your Restaurant software is one of the most critical ingredients in the success of any restaurant. So, choose wisely the right Restaurant Management software, and you’ll be on the path to becoming a foundation — and not an afterthought.
Simply, having good food is not enough to keep a restaurant in business as technology is the newest innovation that gives restaurants the much-needed edge over the competition. With the right restaurant technologies in place, you can enhance your customer experience & boost sales.
Ask for their feedback
How was everything? Any server worth their salt will ask this at least once during a meal. But not every customer feels comfortable complaining verbally if something is wrong. Offering a customer comment card at the end of a meal is an opportunity to gain valuable feedback, both positive and negative, about your restaurant. While it’s never fun to hear what people don’t like, comment cards allow you to make improvements.
Customers are guests in your dining room; treat them as such. Greet them warmly as if your best friends just walked through the door. Give them a sincere smile.
The best wait staffs are more than just efficient; they are gracious.
As a restaurant professional, your goal should be not just to provide satisfactory customer service but to attract your guests back for another visit soon. Do everything you can to hone your service skills and make dining at your restaurant a pleasant experience worth repeating, and remind your customers as they leave to come back soon for another visit!
Do you have a method for ensuring consistent, excellent customer service at your restaurant? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Please share your views in the comment section below.