Service industries need to deliver excellent service just to survive, let alone thrive. This is particularly true of restaurants. Furthermore, with that in mind, here is a quick guide on how to make restaurant customer service the best it can be.
Make the most of your booking system
These days, a lot of customers will book online. This means that you need to ensure that your website is easy to use and informative. Remember to think about people on mobile devices (phones and tablets) and people using computers.
If people do book by phone or in person, then let them know about your website and give them a reason to visit it. Reasons could include great content (e.g., blogs or recipes), competitions, or promotions.
Ensure a great first impression
The moment a patron enters your restaurant, they should know exactly what they are supposed to do. This means you either need someone by the door to greet and direct them or need clear signage. Think about the practicalities of receiving patrons. For example, where can people safely leave coats and bags?
Once people are seated, make sure that they are comfortable even when they’re not eating. For example, have some water and snacks (e.g., breadsticks) on the table. If the restaurant is family-friendly, try to find space for some children’s activities either at the table or in a designated play area.
If your restaurant is geared more towards adults, then try to provide some entertainment or talking points. This could be something as simple as interesting decor. Free WiFi is generally appreciated, and it can make life easier for your staff. For example, people can look up information rather than calling a server.
Make sure patrons know when to expect each of their courses. If anything changes, inform them quickly and be ready to adjust the order if the change inconveniences them. Depending on the type of restaurant you are running, you might want to harness technology here. For example, digital displays are now fairly affordable and a convenient way to display updates.
Keep in mind, however, that some patrons may have issues using technology. For example, people with limited vision may find it hard to read even large text on large screens. This means that you need to be prepared to have human staff take care of them.
Finish with a flourish
Use your patron’s last impression to create a good, lasting impression. Bring the check without having to be asked, but leave them time to pay it. When you bring the check, bring some mints and some comment cards. Make them aware that you appreciate any feedback they can give and ask if there’s anything else they need. Always have your staff say goodbye to them.
Consider using this last interaction to encourage patrons to visit your website, join your mailing list, or connect with you on social media. Remember, however, that you’ll need to give them a good reason to do any of these.
We hope you were able to learn a few more tips on how to better restaurant customer service! If you are a restaurant and need superior staffing techniques and other resources, you have come to the right place! All Pro Restaurant Coaches is here to help you on your restaurant business journey. To learn about what we can do to elevate your restaurant, call us today at 352-988-7771.