Running a restaurant can be all kinds of chaos. After all, there’s so much to be looked after: the seating and ambiance, the kitchen, hygiene standards, service staff, costs, and finally, the food that’s served! But among all of these, there is one thing that restaurateurs usually tend to miss out on. And, that is customer satisfaction. Yes, customer satisfaction matters the most in the food and restaurant industry. Customers that leave a restaurant having had a bad experience are likely to never return to the same venue. Now, you definitely do not want this happening to you.
So, what does one actually have to do to ensure that their customers leave their restaurant with sweet smiles and feeling satisfied? Well, for starters, you must know that this isn’t a one-time action. Improving your customer satisfaction is an ongoing process – one that must be a part of your job as a restaurant owner.
Let’s take a look at how you can bring customer satisfaction at your restaurant to the top-notch.
1. Wait Times
Let’s face it: waiting for a table can be annoying. But it’s also the first step of customer interaction with your restaurant, and you absolutely do not want to leave a negative impression in the very beginning. Make sure your waiting area is large yet cozy, with comfortable seating and a few tables. Be honest with your customers regarding the wait time to avoid any kind of disappointment. Taking reservations in advance is recommended to prevent crowding your waiting area and help seat customers immediately.
2. Keeping It Clean
Hygiene and cleanliness standards have always been a high priority for restaurants and eateries. And in the current times, it’s become even more essential. Today, all restaurants are expected to follow safety and hygiene norms, sanitize all areas regularly and follow necessary checklists for ultimate cleanliness.
Your ambiance and environment play a huge role too. Pay attention to the minutest of details – right from the plates being served to the state of your restrooms. Keeping it all spick and span can leave a good impression on your customer and massively improve your restaurant’s reputation.
3. Perfect Your Menu
Next is the menu. Studies show that having fewer choices on the menu leads to higher customer satisfaction. This is likely because people prefer limited options when dining out. Moreover, a fixed short menu allows your chef to master the recipes, enabling them to dish out the best version of the food at all times. But a limited menu doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be diverse, which means your food items shouldn’t be too similar to each other. With outstanding food quality that stays consistent with every visit, the customer is bound to keep coming back to your restaurant.
4. Staff Etiquette
Restaurants that follow a customer-centric approach tend to experience better customer satisfaction. This is because they keep the customer as the central point of focus, ensuring all their needs are met with timely and cordial service. Your service staff plays a key role here as they’re the ones directly interacting and communicating with your customers. Offer regular training that helps your employees offer the best customer service, feel more confident at their jobs, and stay motivated. Ensure you have a seamless workflow between your servers and kitchen staff for smooth communication and delay prevention.
5. Dealing With Complaints
No restaurant owner likes to receive a complaint. But things mess up, and complaints can come in. What matters most is how you choose to deal with it. If there’s a mistake concerning a dish, you may want to offer it for free (even if the error was on the customer’s part). This will help convert a negative experience into a positive one for your customer, ensuring they visit another time. Always be willing to apologize and acknowledge the customer’s grievance. Promote the use of feedback forms as honest reviews will help you identify any problems that you may be overlooking at the moment.
6. Go The Extra Mile
And lastly, do not hesitate to go the extra mile to ensure the best customer satisfaction. Use the latest technology, get your lighting right, lead your staff by example, offer add-ons such as free Wi-Fi to customers, own up to and correct mistakes, engage with your customers, thank them, and simply make them feel special.
Excellent customer satisfaction only leads to positive word-of-mouth. And, there’s no doubt that all of these little things will go a long way in leaving a great impression of your restaurant on the minds of customers!