When customers eat out in a restaurant they are not only looking for good food but also to leave them with an experience that makes them feel special and satisfied at the end of the meal. If a customer is treated with respect by staff and offered a warm welcome on arrival, they are likely to spend more money and frequent the restaurant more often. It is the responsibility of managers to make sure this happens and to oversee that staff members are all on board with changes that are implemented. Improving your restaurants customer service can be as important as the quality of the food.
1. Train employees to think in terms of customer care at all times, encouraging such practices as smiling when customers arrive at the restaurant, looking them in the eye and offering a prompt greeting. Staff can be trained to anticipate the client’s needs such as refilling water jugs and offering extra napkins if needed – it is the little things that add up. Drinks need to be brought to the table straight away to give the customer the feeling of prompt service.
2. Make sure that employees are fully aware of any dress code and adhere to the restaurants policy of neat hair, clean finger nails etc. Although employees are required to be approachable and friendly, they should not appear “over” friendly or too familiar. Clients want to feel comfortable and not to feel obligated to include waiting staff in their conversations. Training staff in the complaints procedures and who to refer the problem to will ensure that the complaint is dealt with promptly and professionally. Should a meal be delayed, then involve the manager and offer the meal free of charge with the restaurants compliments.
3. Observe your staff and how they interact with the customers. If a member shows initiative and sells the restaurant without your prompting then acknowledge their behaviour and how impressed you are. Waiting employees should know the menu and have an overview of how the food is cooked, putting them in a position where they can offer an alternative or a suggested choice for a child.
4. Talk to your customers yourself and offer a round of free drinks on their next visit if they would mind letting you know what they felt of the service and hospitality during their visit. In a Gallup poll, these are things that visitors felt were important and made their meal an enjoyable experience.
5. If surveys are carried out then make sure you implement the changes needed to the best of your ability. If a client complains that it took too long for their drinks to arrive, then make sure your team are trained to produce drinks within a set time limit. Offering children a going away gift such as a balloon or lolly is viewed as a nice gesture but always make sure you have the parents’ permission. Improving your restaurants customer service need not cost much money and could greatly pay you back with return business.