Offering a remarkable customer service constitutes one of the critical success factors of running a restaurant business in a growing market like Saudi Arabia. According to statistics, the foodservice sector in Saudi Arabia, which was valued at USD 29.83 billion in 2017, is expected to record a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.9% through 2018- 2023. Delivering a standard service to your customers requires setting restaurant benchmarks for food quality and customer service. Standardized procedures help restaurant operators ensure consistency in service, which in turn helps you generate customer loyalty. Hence, restaurant operators in Saudi Arabia must have a restaurant operations manual in place that documents the entire service standards.
Basic Restaurant Service Standards That Restaurant Operators In Saudi Arabia Must Follow
While service standards at each restaurant differ according to the restaurant type, format, and theme, some specific service standards and etiquettes remain common uniformly. For instance, in a self-serving QSR, the staff is not expected to greet guests and seat them, but in a fine dining restaurant, this gesture must be followed religiously.
These are some of the most common restaurant service standards :
- Welcoming the guests with a hospitable gesture.
- Offering them the desired table or the bar or waiting area, if there is a wait time.
- Presenting the guests with a menu and waiting for a few minutes before going over for the order.
- Assisting the customer in placing an order by explaining the dishes (if asked), and repeating the order to ensure no mistakes in order taking.
- Ensuring that the order is served to the customer as soon as it is prepared and minimizing the delay between placing the order and serving it.
- Delivering the food at the table, and serving it to the customers, if needed as per your restaurant’s service standards.
- Checking to see if the food is alright or if the customers wish to order more at intervals.
- Clearing off the table only once the customers are done with their meal or drink.
- Reducing delay while billing.
- Asking for feedback about the service.
- Ensuring hospitality even after the customer has paid the bill and is about to leave.
How To Maintain Restaurant Service Standards That Will Foster Your Business
Restaurant operators must convey the expected service standards clearly to their restaurant staff. Doing so will ensure that all the employees are on the same page while delivering various services at the restaurant. The various ways by which to ensure that the restaurant service standards are followed are:
Document The Expected Restaurant Service Standards
Putting in place a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) checklist can make it simple for all your restaurant staff to follow the guidelines. All they need is to follow whatever is documented diligently. For example, you can make a list of how each item on your menu should be plated. Employees can seek assistance from the executive chef on how to prepare and plate the dishes correctly.
Similarly, when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces, create a checklist for both the front-end and back-end staff. All the team needs to do is mark the tasks each day after completing them.
Train Your Staff At Regular Intervals
Well trained and efficient restaurant staff play a significant role in the success of your restaurant. Unless you provide proper training to your new team and refresh your existing staff’s training at regular intervals, you would not be able to run your operations by adhering to all the standards specified.
While onboarding the new employees, organize training sessions and provide them with a training manual that they can refer to during a crisis.
Similarly, you must also refresh your existing staff’s training at regular intervals. Organize training sessions for your current staff once a month. Also, review and update the restaurant SOP manual quarterly. Taking these steps will help in keeping the restaurant staff updated on the restaurant service standards.
Follow Up At Regular Intervals
Both documenting SOPs and regular training sessions will seem futile unless you follow up with the staff and check if they religiously follow all the functions. Conduct frequent checks to see if your management team and line employees are doing things the right way. Conducting reviews and audits at every level of the business is critical to your restaurant’s long term success.
Maintaining restaurant service standards is fundamentally essential to help you retain your customers. Unless you have a talented band of employees that relentlessly put efforts towards upholding your restaurant service standards, your business will not flourish.
So take help from these useful tips on how to maintain restaurant service standards and foster the growth of your restaurant business in Saudi Arabia!