André Pellerin has over 25 years of expertise in the food service industry. Being a former Marketing and Sales Associate, and a previous restaurant Owner/Operator, André has knowledge from both the Food Establishment and Supplier sides of the business.
While all restaurant owners and managers strive to exceed their guests’ expectations, sometimes amidst the chaos of running their restaurant the simplest things that will impress their customers can get overlooked.
If you find yourself thinking about how you can wow your guests or wondering about what your restaurant could be doing better, smarter, etc. to create a long-lasting, positive impression in every guest’s mind, here are six easy ways to blow them away!
Giving guests solid and consistent service that is professional, attentive and friendly may seem fine, but sometimes it takes just a bit more to wow your customers with service. Teach and incentivize your service staff to go just a bit further, such as by taking the initiative to remember and personally greet customers by name, learning about and catering to a guest’s individual preferences, and, in general, making them feel like a VIP in your restaurant.
When most people choose to eat in a restaurant (or order takeout), they are looking for new and unique culinary experiences. With that in mind, refresh your menu at least seasonally to give your guests a flavor that may be a bit different than what they are already accustomed to ordering in your restaurant. New menu introductions are also a great focal point for your restaurant’s marketing and promotional efforts.
If you don’t know what customers want, how can you continually please them? That’s why getting your guests’ feedback is so important. If you aren’t sure what drives your customers, just ask. Online surveys, in-restaurant guest cards or quick polls on your Facebook business page are three easy ways to get valuable guest feedback.
Once your guests express how they feel about your restaurant and tell you about what they want it’s important to act on that feedback. Perhaps that means responding to a customer complaint on Yelp or Facebook in a courteous and professional way or following through on a request for a new dish by adding it to the menu. Whatever the feedback may be, it’s only of value if you use it to create positive change in your restaurant.
Sure, it’s important to keep your restaurant’s profit margins intact, but if you are cutting corners just to save money or to speed up service, it will eventually catch up with you. While it may be tempting to order a cheaper ingredient from your supplier or focus on getting food out of the kitchen faster in order to turn over more tables, it won’t be worth it in the long run if your customers are negatively affected. Consistency of food quality is a key factor in making and keeping your guests happy.
Small touches like inviting your guest to enjoy a free dessert on her birthday or offering moms a long-stem rose on Mother’s Day can really pay off. Just the simplest tokens of gratitude and personal attention will surely stick out in your guest’s mind.
Don’t rack your brain about all the things you need to be doing to make your guests happy. Sometimes it’s easier than you think if you just get back to the basics.