People visit restaurants for many different reasons. They go to eat food they might not be able or willing to cook themselves, to enjoy a meal with friends or just to get a night off from the daily grind of preparing and cleaning up a meal. Another reason is for the service. People enjoy being treated as though they matter and their needs are important. With this in mind, there are several things restaurants can do to improve customer service in restaurants.
1. Talk to your customers.
There’s no better way to find out what customers want than going straight to the source. While the customer may not be right 100 percent of the time, it can be surprisingly easy for restaurateurs and restaurant employees to overlook sources of discomfort or poor service that are obvious to customers.
2. Empower employees to make decisions.
Too often, restaurants rely on micro-managing. By giving employees such as wait staff the power to resolve problems by comping a meal or taking other similar actions, employees feel more ownership in the business and are able to provide more effective customer service. Some restaurant owners may balk at extending this kind of authority to their staff, and this leads into point three.
3. Hire customer service oriented people.
When hiring people to work in a restaurant, experience and specific skills are important, but equally important is the ability to deal with people effectively and send them home satisfied. If staff cannot handle the kind of responsibility suggested above, this is the fault of the owner or manager and not the employee. Hire the right people, give them the tools they need to succeed, and the rest will follow.
4. If you want the best staff.
You also need to compensate them fairly in order to attract them and keep them around. Furthermore, satisfied staff are more likely to offer good service to customers.
5. Be responsive.
A scroll through a review site like Yelp can be an excellent primer in what to do and what not to do as a restaurant owner. Social media offers an excellent opportunity to turn a disastrous customer review into a great advertisement for your restaurant while offering terrific customer service in the mix. Responding to unhappy customers on social media and looking for a way to fix the problem advertises your commitment to service to your customers.
As these points demonstrate, improving customer service is not a matter of quick cosmetic fixes. Improving customer service in restaurants means building from a solid foundation, but the dividends will be enormous.Tags: featured