Whether you’re a well-established chain or just starting off, one of the most important aspects to running a restaurant is creating a stellar customer experience. When you have a reputation for great customer experience, your business will thrive, so it’s important that your patrons are happy and taken care of. To create this friendly environment, here are 6 ways to enhance customer experience in your restaurant.
Start with Your Employees
Your employees are a vital part of the customer experience, and when your employees are happy and thriving, your business will also thrive. Think of it this way: customer satisfaction starts with employee satisfaction, since the customer experience is often directly impacted by how your employees perform. You can create a happy, healthy environment for your employees by:
- Demonstrating that you value your employees and what they do
- Train them properly so they feel prepared for any situation
By showing that you value your employees, you create a workplace that’s based on respect, and your employees will feel a sense of pride and have a drive to do their best. Add on to that drive by properly training your employees. Proper training ensures efficiency, low ticket times and a knowledge base for your employees to reference in situations that can make or break the customer experience.
Create a Friendly, Personalized Experience
There’s a reason why the saying goes “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar;” a customer is more inclined to return to the same restaurant when the atmosphere is inviting. Having a friendly, happy staff is the perfect foundation to this experience.
While having a warm, inviting staff is vital, taking it a step further and personalizing the experience will really wow your guests. There are easy ways to do this, such as getting to know the guests at a table, greeting regulars by name, suggesting your favorite menu items, inquiring about dietary restrictions like gluten or peanut allergies and remembering drink orders.
Offer Customer Perks
Whether they’re a new guest or a loyal customer, offering perks to your patrons not only generates buzz about your business, but creates an incentive for customers to return. Perks can be as simple as offering free Wi-Fi to your guests, instating a loyalty program or offering a discount for new customers who follow your social media accounts. Whatever you decide to do, it will create buy-in for the customers visiting your establishment, making them feel special and welcomed in your restaurant.
Take Feedback Seriously
It may seem daunting to receive feedback of any kind, but being open to all kinds of suggestions and constructive criticism is one of the best ways to gauge how your customers are enjoying your restaurant. Feedback is important, as it indicates what is working and what isn’t, which allows to to take action to either encourage and reward the positive behavior of your staff, or resolve any issues that may be hindering productivity—or worse, driving customers away.
While it may seem like, at times, some customers will “complain for the sake of complaining,” it’s important to remember to take constructive criticism with grace. It may seem like a trivial complaint, but that comment could very likely be the key to your success.
Additionally, it’s important to encourage—and even reward—positive feedback or suggestions. This could be a coupon code after a guest posts a positive review on your social media channels, offering a free dessert or appetizer if your guests have informed you that the service was stellar, or host a raffle based on customer suggestions. This demonstrates that the customer’s opinion matters, which builds a positive reputation for your business and creates an inviting, engaging environment for each customer.
Maintain Your Restaurant
This is perhaps one of the most obvious points to make, but it’s still important. Cleanliness isn’t just for health and safety, it’s also something your customers will notice. A restaurant that doesn’t look well-maintained could sway customers from visiting, because they could feel uncomfortable dining there. That sort of reputation is damaging for any business, but for restaurants especially.
On top of that, making updates when needed will keep the space fresh and exciting for customers. You can gain inspiration from current restaurant decorating trends, incorporate modern technology, change the paint color, or even updating your logo and branding. Touches like these keep your restaurant from seeming stale and outdated, and it’s always nice to change things up every once in a while.
Incorporate the Latest Technology
As stated in the previous point, incorporating new technology in your restaurant will provide a modern convenience to your customers and make their experience in your restaurant a hassle-free one. More and more guests are expecting advancements like tablet usage and self-service options, so it’s important to keep this in mind when you’re updating your tech. Even an improved Wi-Fi connection can boost your reputation amongst your customers, which greatly impacts the overall experience. You may also want to consider partnering with mobile delivery services like GrubHub or UberEats, as it adds an extra layer of convenience for patrons.
No matter how you enhance the customer experience, make sure that you establish a friendly, helpful, and safe space for your guests to dine in. Should you need to maintain your commercial restaurant, turn to Parts Town’s large inventory to keep your restaurant running smoothly.