HomeBiz Talks Service Matters: Improving Customer Service at Your Restaurant
Write down 5-8 points that you think would make or break your restaurant – if customer service is among that list, congratulations! You are on the right track. As a food service business owner or operator, it is a great start if you carefully consider your menu, pricing, inventory planning, and payment system alongside customer service because it determines the level of customer loyalty.
In this article, we will share with you 6 simple ways to improve your restaurant’s customer service.
1. Do it right from the beginning
A simple “welcome” and warm greeting will kickstart a great customer experience. As they walk through the door, show up with a clean, tidy uniform and a smile, of course. Guide them to their table with a simple check-in on their day and the purpose of the visit so you can prepare for a little surprise if necessary. It is also important to speak clearly and with confidence.
2. Manage wait time
Know that guests who choose to dine in with you despite having to wait are special – it is usually a sign that they value your food and service. With that in mind, let your customer know in advance about how long they are expected to wait, and try your best to enhance their experience at the waiting area. Provide free wifi, seating, and ventilation so they can wait comfortably for their turn. If you always have a queue waiting to be served, try investing in a waitlist or reservation system for long-run success.
3. Stay prompt and attentive
Now that customers are finally at their table, be sure to keep great eye contact so you know when they need your assistance especially after passing them your menu. Repeat their orders and check for special dietary requirements or allergies if your restaurant can cater to them. Recognize body language and gestures to serve your customers better. Also, try your best to keep customers informed on their order status to help them feel attended to.
4. Know your menu inside out
Not only that you can make great recommendations for your customers, but knowing your menu like the back of your hand can give customers the impression that you are efficient. Always check with the kitchen when you are unsure because it is more important to provide accurate information than to be quick. Take note of commonly asked questions and don’t be afraid to share them with the rest of your team!
5. Train and value your team
How your team feels about working in your food service business will ultimately reflect in their service standard. Encourage good and clear communication between your team members and ask how they are doing frequently. A happy team will radiate positive energy to your customers. It enhances employee loyalty too so you won’t have to worry about training new staff all over again regularly. You can also set clear guidelines and design training programs to standardize great service so your team knows exactly what you expect from them.
6. Take feedback and review seriously
Instead of seeing them as a complaint, take feedback and comments as learning opportunities. Be proactive and ask customers how they feel about your service and food at the end of their meal to show that you care and take note of it. If they are expressing an issue to you, listen attentively without interrupting. Apologize and solve issues without drama. Don’t miss out on online reviews and feedback from your team members too!
Excellent customer service can help your food service business go a long way. It provides you competitive advantage, encourages customer loyalty, and more importantly, great word of mouth to bring you even more customers.
Ajinomoto Food Biz Partner shares tips and tricks to boost your business success. Don’t forget to sign up as a member today!