Have you ever pondered over why customers would prefer your restaurant over the hundreds other which are available in the market? It is not your cuisine, or the price or the location, or the offers that will help you keep the customers hitched to your restaurant. Smart marketing can only bring in new customers. To increase customer visits, you must enamor them with such hospitality and restaurant service that compels them to keep coming back. Even a 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase a business’s profitability by 75 percent.
A great restaurant service encompasses everything; right from food consistency, quality, and ambiance, to the friendly service provided by your staff. Read on to know how you can improve your restaurant service and keep your guests happy!
5 Tips to Enhance Your Restaurant Service
While attracting customers is essential, retaining them is even more critical. It is far less cheap to retain a customer, and returning customers are also much more likely to order more. And you can hardly expect repeat visits unless your restaurant service is on point. Some tips that will bolster your restaurant service are:
1. Maintain Optimum Quality and Consistency of Food
One of the primary reason why people visit restaurants is to enjoy the food. Hence, if you don’t have the right thing to place on the plate, then you can surely bid goodbye to your restaurant business. Not only a variety on the menu is required, but you also ought to maintain the quality and consistency as well. Imagine, your regular customer realizes that there has been a change in your food consistency and quality. They would complain to you once or twice, and afterward, they would look for an alternative to your restaurant. Would you like that? Of course not!
You can maintain the quality, by getting the raw materials from trusted sources, and by storing them at the right temperature. You must keep a tight check on the inventory to ensure no products which have reached its expiry date are used. Train your staff on the proper food handling techniques. Kitchen and the plating tables should be cleaned immediately after use. Also, you need to make sure that the utensils are adequately washed and dried. These are some of the necessary prerequisites of delivering an impeccable restaurant service.
For making sure that you have consistency in your food taste and quantity, all you need to do is create a recipe management module in your restaurant. Make sure that your Head Chef writes down all the recipes on the menu. This document should include the items that go into the dish, the quantity of each item, the temperature at which it needs to be prepared and the like. Your Head Chef should make all the meals and show to the kitchen staff, and even click a picture and stick it near the plating table.
2. Sync Your Ambiance with Your Concept
Already said that food is the primary thing for which customers visit a restaurant. But don’t you think if it is just that then they would instead order it online and relish it in the comfort of their homes? Dining out has more to it than just the food. People want to enjoy the environment, the crowd, and the ambiance as much as they want to enjoy the food. When it is a 500 cover restaurant, and the DJ plays the upbeat songs and the crowd goes insane, there is this energy in the atmosphere that many want to succumb to. This is precisely the reason, why you should give due importance to your ambiance as per the format of your restaurant, which will enhance your guest experience.
While a funky retro bar would have the ambiance and the lighting keeping in mind the night crowd, a fine dining restaurant should have elegant lighting with crisp tablecloths, and the interior design would rather have basic colors. On the contrary, it is preferable for a coffee shop to exhibit an earthy or a woody feel through its ambiance. In simple words, try and keep it simple and create an ambiance that matches the format and the concept of your restaurant and to which your targeted clientele can relate to.
Also, often, restaurants do a great job at the restaurant interiors and give little thought to the bathrooms. However, such trivial things are just as important and go a long way in delivering a complete guest experience.
3. Ensure a Hospitable and Warm Customer Service
Providing optimum customer service is one of the crucial aspects of having an impeccable restaurant service. For this, you need to train your servers well. Making the customers order more than what they want is an art that servers need to master. Many a time, in the interest of making customers order more or more high-priced items, servers come out to be pushy, which is not good news for your restaurant. Servers should know how to upsell for higher priced items subtly and without the knowledge of the customers. For example, if a table of customers seem to be enjoying leisurely chatter and aren’t in a rush to leave, suggest coffee and a dessert special. It’s an easy opportunity to promote your new dessert menu without being too pushy about it.
Your servers should also know how to handle disgruntled customers. Since the taste and preference of each customer differs, your restaurant might come across some who may not like your food. In such a situation, your servers must know how to acknowledge the problem, apologize and provide a complimentary item if necessary to appease an unhappy customer.
4. Deliver Quick and Efficient Service
Reducing your table turnover time is one of the basic criteria of having a stellar restaurant service. Imagine that there is this news in the vicinity that your restaurant always has a long queue and the time taken for the food to reach the table is rather long, do you think people will try and check you out? No! Time is precious, and no one wants to spend it by waiting. Hence, make sure that all your kitchen prep work is done, the kitchen is clean, and the staff is ready to get to work just before the busy hours of the day. This will help your chefs to make the dishes as soon as the orders come pouring in. Once your dishes land on the table, and once the customers are done relishing the tantalizing dishes, not hurriedly but subtly ask if they want something else or else hand them the check. Following this system for every table will help you to enjoy more footfalls in a day and increase repeat customer visits.
5. Create and Follow Restaurant Service Standards
No matter how best you try to deliver an exceptional guest experience, chances are your restaurant staff might forget to do a thing or two. You can avoid such a situation by laying out certain Service Standards of your restaurant that should be followed at all times. This would help you ensure that your entire staff is following the same protocol and delivering the same level of customer service.
Following these tips can turn the fortune of your restaurant, by providing the customers with excellent restaurant service. Remember that it is your customers, who can make or break your restaurant. Hence, provide your customers with a service so enchanting that will compel them to keep coming back again and again!