Published Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, 8:00 am
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Customer satisfaction is the most critical asset and the glue that holds a successful restaurant together. According to the 2018 NewVoiceMedia ‘Serial Switcher’ report, most businesses lose as much as $75 billion dollars every year as a result of poor customer service. Having loyal customers that genuinely enjoy visiting your restaurant as compared to customers who just enjoy the food is what keeps customers coming back for more. Once a customer enters a restaurant, their entire experience from entrance to exit should be nothing short of exceptional.
Customer satisfaction is the most critical asset and the glue that holds a successful restaurant together. According to the 2018 NewVoiceMedia ‘Serial Switcher’ report, most businesses lose as much as $75 billion every year as a result of poor customer service. Having loyal customers that genuinely enjoy visiting your restaurant as compared to customers who just enjoy the food is what keeps customers coming back for more. Once a customer enters a restaurant, their entire experience from entrance to exit should be nothing short of exceptional.
Here are a few tips to improve customer experience:
Ambiance – This is a word that both foodies and non-foodies know. As soon as a customer enters the door, the look and feel of a restaurant tell them what they can expect. There’s a certain psychology on how furniture should be placed and how space should be utilized. Apart from having stylish yet comfortable furniture, lighting and aroma are important too. Chairs in fast food restaurants aren’t comfortable enough and encourage customers to leave for the next set to come in, while finer dining establishments offer luxurious seating, so customers continue to order. Themed furniture and decor intrigue customers to look around while pleasant smells give them hopes of delicious and satisfying food.
Personable and engaging employees – According to a news release by Opinion Research Corporation, rude waiters are the largest reason for a bad dining experience and the fall of a restaurant’s reputation. For the best dining experiences, restaurant staff should be committed to being engaging and friendly. Employees should be well-trained to speak to customers politely, make suggestions, and accept responses. Apart from waiter etiquette, the staff should also make it a priority to do table checks to see if every customer is happy. They should accept feedback, and surveys should be handed out to customers on ways that the employees and restaurant can improve. Many employees make it a priority to know the menu like the back of their hand and can suggest food choices for any diet. The restaurant manager often rewards them for selling and promoting the restaurant.
Free Wi-Fi – Although providing Wi-Fi isn’t a necessity, it can end up being very beneficial to a restaurant. Apart from entertaining kids and other customers, it is the best way of attracting people to work in your restaurant. It is also an excellent marketing opportunity since customers will have to enter their email addresses to use the Wi-Fi. You can send out offers, news, and letters to them on an event basis.
Tablet POS – Introducing a portable tablet POS is a significant benefit not just to the customer but to the restaurant too. Every table will have a tablet that can be used by the staff to select appropriate tables according to the customer’s preferences. Apart from this, customers can also use the tablet to make orders that will be sent to the staff’s tablet and make payments through it. Children can play games on it, and you can upsell with the help of it. The tool can suggest items that a customer can pair with meals that they have selected.
Personalize customer’s experiences – Most customers return to restaurants that they are familiar with or feel comfortable with. A study conducted by Open Table showed that 95 percent of customers would return to a restaurant that provided tailored experiences. The effort made by staff to suggest items or the effort to remember their regular orders goes a long way. Making your customers feel at home is the number one way to create loyal customers that always come back.
Feedback – Taking customer’s feedback is the best way to know where your restaurant is lacking and how you can improve. Most customers are more than ready to provide feedback to a restaurant, but it all depends on how you take it. Restaurants that take suggestions and make changes have a higher chance of success because they focus on customer experience and make it a top priority.
Make it a team effort to provide the best dining experience
One bad experience can turn a customer away forever. It should be a team effort on behalf of the wait staff, management staff, and the restaurant owner to provide an enjoyable dining experience for every single customer. Since first impressions are important, the proper setting will have customers waiting anxiously for their food. Once they get that and the perfect mix of competent staff, good food, and pleasant ambiance, they will be coming back for more.
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