There are two things involved in making a restaurant successful. First is great food, and second, top-notch service. For the customers, it’s no longer just about the food. Instead, they seek a wholesome experience. Restaurant service is intangible and something that a guest often remembers as much as the food they eat.
Dubai has emerged as a global food destination and UAE has a huge influx of tourists from around the world. Despite high demand, there is an oversupply of restaurants in UAE, which makes it difficult to attract and retain customers. This makes it even more important for restaurant operators to ensure that they deliver great customer service each time to retain their customer base.
Hacks To Improve Your Restaurant Service To Ensure Customer Satisfaction In UAE
Since Emirates are home to a multi-ethnic population, catering to the expectations and demands of customers can get difficult. Here are 10 stellar restaurant service tips that you should employ in your restaurant to delight customers.
1. Set Restaurant Service Standards
Even before you start inculcating the sense of delivering good restaurant service in your staff, you need to have a plan and a clear idea of what good restaurant service means to you. You need to write down your goals and objectives and set certain restaurant service standards. This would help you ensure consistency in the operations and service.
Create a manual that states the clear service goals and steps of service to establish the performance expectations.
2. Empower Your Team
Staff training is an essential part of ensuring an excellent restaurant service. Your staff is the face of your restaurant since they are the ones who interact directly with the guests. Your staff needs to be well trained to deliver the level of service and performance that you expect.
Conduct regular training sessions for your restaurant staff so that they are skilled enough not just to perform the task at hand, but are also equipped with enough knowledge to answer customer queries. For instance, it is essential that your staff has enough experience with the international cuisine that you may be serving, or be aware enough to suggest which wine should be paired with what.
It is also a good idea to have multi-lingual staff since your customers can be of different ethnicities.
3. Maintain Consistency
Maintaining consistency is an essential aspect of restaurant service. This is especially true in the case of repeat customers; when people come back to your restaurant, they expect the same quality in terms of food as well as hospitality. You need to deliver the same standards of service each time, to create a brand perception in the minds of the customers.
While setting restaurant service standards and training your staff would help you maintain service style, you also need to ensure consistency in terms of the food you serve.
You can ensure consistency in food by using standard recipes and portioning methods. However, consistency in food is not just about the cooking method. You also need to have a set vendor that provides you with quality ingredients. A change in the quality of the raw materials can also impact your food. Thus, it is advisable that you decide your vendor carefully as changing vendors too often will result in varying quality of food.
3. Have Strong Back Of The House Operations
Even though the front of the house is the place where customer interaction happens, unless you have a strong backend, you will not be able to deliver great service. Your back of the house restaurant operations needs to be well-oiled to ensure efficiency in service. For instance, if an order is taking too much time to be prepared in the kitchen, it will lead to a delay in the service. Or, if you suddenly run out of stock of a particular item on the menu, it will leave a bad impression on the customers.
There should be sync between the front of the house and the back of the house of your restaurant. In case you are out of stock of a particular item, or if there is a delay in service for any reason, the same should be communicated clearly to the wait staff. Having optimized restaurant operations is sure to improve your overall restaurant service.
4. Encourage Customer Interaction
Serving the food to the customers is not enough. You need to interact with the guests without overstepping the boundaries. Customer service is all about understanding the needs of the customers and providing them with what they expect without being too intrusive.
Communicating with guests helps build customer relationships that play a vital role in customer retention. When waiters recognize and greet customers with their name, it creates a sense of familiarity, and that aids customers become regulars.
You can also encourage your Chef to interact with the customers as this would let the guests know who prepared the food they are eating.
Value your customers and listen to what they have to say. This would keep your customers coming back for the food, people and the excellent atmosphere.
5. Make Technology Your Friend
If you have the right technology at your restaurant, it automatically elevates the restaurant’s service. You need to invest in an efficient POS that takes care of the guest experience as well. A quick and efficient service plays a vital role in ensuring customer satisfaction.
You should start with managing the queue at your restaurant. The Table Reservation and Queue Management System feature in the POS will help you not only reserve the table for your guests but also tell the exact wait time it would take to seat your guests.
Once your guests are seated, you can present them with a restaurant ordering app that allows them to place their orders themselves. This reduces the delay of your servers manually taking the order, and then placing them into the POS.
As soon as the order is placed, it is instantly reflected in the Kitchen Display System that can be viewed by the kitchen staff, and the preparation gets started immediately. This reduces the time taken to accept, prepare and deliver the order.
Once the customers finish the meal, the bill is generated instantly and settled without any hassles. Fast service makes the overall experience memorable for the guests and keeps them coming back.
6. Seek Customer Feedback
Even if you take all the steps to ensure a great experience, there may be situations when a particular guest is unhappy. Thus, a great way of learning and improving your restaurant service is by encouraging people to give feedback about your restaurant.
Instead of taking feedback through a generic paper-based feedback form, you can seek custom reviews with the help of a feedback app. The app generates custom questions based on the items ordered by the customer. This way, you ask questions that are not only highly relevant for the customers, but they also give you valuable insights about your service. You can then use these insights to analyze where exactly you can improve your restaurant service.
7. Ensure Staff Happiness
Restaurateurs often tend to ignore that the well-being of the restaurant staff is essential if you want to deliver a great guest experience. If your staff is unhappy, it is likely to show in their performance and drive your customers away.
The labor costs in the UAE restaurant industry are also pretty high, and one of the primary reasons is the high labor turnover rate. There is a dearth of skilled manpower in UAE, and you should ensure that there is a healthy work environment at your restaurant.
Provide your staff with adequate incentives and appreciation to make them feel valued. Ensure good working conditions for your employees and encourage communication to address any issues that they may have.
Considering the competitive nature of the UAE restaurant industry, it is essential to pay attention to your restaurant service to retain customers. Always remember, good food with the best service sets your restaurant apart and helps you build a strong customer base.