Creating memorable guest experiences that yield guest loyalty starts with a solid restaurant customer experience strategy. Since one bad meal experience can turn a customer away from your restaurant forever. Not to mention that customers visit your restaurant holding preconceived expectations about your restaurant, so it is important to provide an excellent dining experience for all of your restaurant visitors.
Giving customers their best experience is the shared responsibility of all staff members, including servers, hosts, kitchen staff, managers, and restaurant owners. It is the first impression of your restaurant that has a big impact. Therefore, to make sure your restaurant offers the best customer experience, we have highlighted some new tactics for improving customer experience and your restaurant’s customer service so that your guests keep coming back.
Encourage customer interaction and engagement:
Effective organization and detailed training for all employees are core elements to provide great customer experience and to consistently meet standards.
A restaurant’s brand is not only about food, but also about quality, value, sanitary, location, and staff. You should always look for ways to deliver consistently engaging, memorable experiences that drive a connection to your brand at every touch-point.
Here are the recent elements of the restaurant customer experience that matter to your diners:
- Engage them. Interact with your customers in an authentic and friendly. Be hospitable and genuine with them. Treat them as persons.
- Empower them. Give them the ability to customize to their specific needs. Value their feedback and respond in an appropriate way.
- Hear them. Demonstrate awareness of the situation and acknowledge their needs. Listen to their unique needs.
- Delight them. Create moments beyond their expectations that they will remember and share. Personalize their experience.
- Know them. Remember them and their preferences. Anticipate their changing needs.
In addition, you shall notify your employees’ interactions with the customers in order to provide constructive feedback on their performance and adjust some behaviors you want them to adopt, such as:
- Helping to seat female customers.
- Suggesting suitable menu items for young customers if you don’t offer children’s menu.
- Knowing your menu well enough to be able to point out appropriate choices for those who mention dietary restrictions.
- Upselling and cross-selling your menu.
Customer Engagement Example: Starbucks
Starbucks came up with a way to make loyal customers feel special as they began the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room where they enable customers to chat with coffee specialists, watch coffee brew from fresh beans and try a variety of rare coffees.
This multi-sensory experience takes customers to a totally new level. An exciting and unique customer journey engages customers and gives them a new appreciation for the brand beyond the ordinary cup of coffee.
Use design and ambiance to impact your target audience:
The design of a restaurant should have positive effects on your customers. Consider creating an atmosphere that brings in the customers you want. Reconsider table setup, lighting, and your music choice to meet your diners’ needs.
Here are some examples of how you can satisfy your customers through design and ambiance:
- Attract families by minimizing your tables of two and bringing in bench-style seating.
- For mature clients, you can make the waiting area relaxing and keep the music low.
- To make people stay longer, remove any clocks from your dining room.
- For a tech-free dining experience, consider Placing cellphone “homes” or “safes” on the table where customers can safely keep their phones out of sight.
- Have flexible lighting and decor options that suit different day and night guest preferences.
- Train your team to help customers celebrate graduations, anniversaries, or date nights. For example, they may hold things such as candles and number shaped balloons on hand.
- Have up-to-date, clean, high-quality and stylish furniture.
Maintaining Hygiene, Cleanliness, and food safety in your Restaurant:
The perception of your restaurant depends on Maintaining Hygiene Standards. Not to mention that it is just essential to ensure the health and safety of your employees and customers. Your customer would have an overall positive impression of your restaurant if your staff follow the cleanliness and hygiene standards.
Deliver consistent service for spotless reputation:
One of the major challenges for restaurant owners is Overall consistency. If you fail your customers’ expectations, they will stop coming. You can easily identify the failures in the consistency in three areas where:
- Menu items availability.
To control these points you can:
- Schedule a specific person to be responsible for cleaning guest areas, all the time, such as the waiting area, dining area, and restrooms.
- Change your prices only upon a significant economic change in your area. If you have to change your prices, offer coupons for regular customers, or implement loyalty programs.
- Always track your inventory and make sure that you have enough ingredients for your menu “hits” to hold over a busy night so that you will never run out of your best-selling item in the middle of a rush!
Work with your staff to cultivate a “customer first” mentality in order to provide an outstanding customer dining experience. Show them respect and appreciation and remember to ask them for feedback.