10 Ways to Deliver Outstanding Restaurant Customer Service

 

Restaurant customer service

 

One cannot deny that excellent restaurant customer service acts as one of the most significant pull factors for any restaurant.

Outstanding hospitality attracts customers to your restaurant. Who does not want to be welcomed and served by friendly staff?

In fact, satisfied customers play an integral role in the development of your business model.

Let us eliminate any ambiguity by clearly defining restaurant customer service.

Customer service is the right combination of communication and assistance delivered to your diners. It is the right combination of genuine attention and advice that you provide to the people who dine at the restaurant.

Customers will want to come back to your restaurant time after time when you treat them with the utmost respect and care alongside providing excellent food.

As per the stats from Harvard Business School study on Starbucks, customer satisfaction has been ranked the highest and has a massive impact on revenue generation.

 

Restaurant customer service

 

At the same time, it has been found out through one customer experience report that the primary cause of why a customer might abandon a brand is because of rude customer service and low quality.

Research shows that the above criteria were cited as a reason more often than untimely or slow service.

These two studies especially highlight the importance of outstanding restaurant customer service.

Researchers suggest that hospitality can make or break the growth of your business. This article speaks of 10 simple yet effective ways to deliver first-class restaurant customer service to the people who dine at your restaurant.

Here are 10 ways to deliver outstanding restaurant customer service. You can use the links to jump to the section you’d like to read:

 

1. Start at the beginning
2. Fix any problems right away
3. Do not make diners wait
4. Use technology
5. Make use of customer comments cards or surveys
6. Train your employees
7. Keep customers entertained
8. Remember customer names and personal details
9. Constantly engage with customers
10. Stay active on social media

 

1. Start at the beginning

 

While the taste and quality of the food provided are highly important, it is the experience that diners look forward to from the minute they enter your restaurant.

Restaurants need to keep in mind that the customer’s needs should be placed at the forefront of every dining episode.

Here are some tips to help you accomplish this:

– Greet your customers with a smile the moment they walk in through the door.
– Address the diners with respectful titles like sir, ma’am, and miss.
– Do not interrupt customers. Make sure you wait till they are ready to start a conversation.
– Ensure that you listen keenly and bear in mind what they want.
– Be well versed with the menu of your restaurant. You can ask questions and repeat their orders to get it right.

 

Maitre-D

 

The maintenance of proper etiquette can strike quite an impression in the customer’s minds. Hence, make sure you get it right. You can follow the below tips:

– If you can see/understand that there is a guest of honor, remember to serve them first. Otherwise, you can begin with the women, followed by the men and children seated at the table.
– Always clear the table and serve food from the customer’s left side. If you need to interrupt or reach inside, make a polite request.
– Pour and refill drinks from the customer’s right.

 

2. Fix any problems right away

 

The second most crucial step in delivering supreme restaurant customer service is how elegantly you handle customer issues and complaints.

No matter how hard you try to make a flawless impression, some things can go amiss sometimes. Do not let that disturb your calm, and remember that the goal is to please your diner.

This is why solving problems immediately is of the utmost importance. Do not let your diner’s dissatisfaction or anger linger. Here are some tips you can make use of while dealing with customer complaints:

 

Waiter

 

– Be a good listener. Do not interrupt when they speak.
– Acknowledge and own your mistake. Let them know that you are sorry about what has happened to them.
– Keep your cool even if you disagree with the customer’s viewpoint.
– Maintain eye contact and keep a watch on your body language as it shouldn’t be telling a different story.
– Give your customers a choice to fix the issue. Ask them how you can make it up to them and try to negotiate in a way that is acceptable to both of you.
– Always try to empathize and do not start a blame game.
– It is never wrong to apologize again for the inconvenience caused!
– Resolve the problem quickly without any added drama.

There will be times when customers won’t get a chance to give feedback, and thus, will end up sharing the same on social media and other related websites.

Staying alert on such platforms and attending to their complaints or queries will build your rapport with diners. It will also expand your online presence.

In fact, you can bring a feedback system into functioning on your website/mobile application. This way, you can direct their opinions and feedback into your inbox before they get to post about it on social media and other related platforms.

 

3. Do not make diners wait

 

Ensure that your customers do not wait for their appetizers, the first round of drinks, or the main food.

Waiting for their meals or beverages will most likely irritate them. It doesn’t matter if your bartender makes the best cocktails or your chef prepares quality steak. They will already be flustered, and this will create a negative impression.

It can be difficult to win back disappointed customers, and hence, the goal should be to avoid customer dissatisfaction as much as possible.

Keep a check on the number of restaurant staff and employ more if needed, so diners won’t ever wait for too long.

 

Angry restaurant customers

 

Just in case the order of a particular customer takes longer than usual, it is advisable to be forthcoming and communicative. Let them know in advance about the delay.

You can also incorporate the idea of ‘speed service’ in your restaurant. Speed service is crucial to a fine dining experience irrespective of the type of restaurant you own.

Your customers will probably have expectations about how long they will have to wait. They might also be considerate and give you extra time if they’ve ordered a steak. In case of simpler meals like tacos, they will expect it to arrive quicker.

 

4. Use technology

 

One out of the box way to deliver quality restaurant customer service is by incorporating technology into your system. Here are some  ideas to give your diners a great experience.

Online Ordering

An online menu facilitates easy access for diners. They can conveniently browse through it and instantly place orders from the menu.

Most customers are also tempted to order more food that amounts to a higher value online.

It is also beneficial to get a mobile application designed for your website as it enhances user convenience. Along with this, make sure to be alert and responsive over the website/mobile application.

 

Restaurant customer service online ordering

Table and/or Ordering via Kiosk

Customers who step in with the idea of a casual dining experience find kiosks to be easy, helpful, and prompt. They appreciate the convenience and speed of order intake.

Free Wi-Fi

Research evidence from a data and analysis firm Technomic Inc. showed that around 65% of consumers in 2014 expected and favored restaurants that offered free Wi-Fi.

Provide some games at the table

Parents that are accompanied by young children sometimes wish to take a break and would love to see their children occupied with board/card games. It would be great for such customers if you could set up a TV/media room for the kids or a space with toys and coloring books.

Encourage check-ins on Bloc

Bloc is a social events app where customers can check-in to a restaurant and earn money if they attend. By encouraging customers check-in on Bloc, customers will be happy they’re being rewarded for attending.

Bloc for bar marketing

 

5. Make use of customer comments cards or surveys

 

Customer comment cards convey your interest in knowing the opinion of your diners.

Many restaurants wish to understand what their customers think of their overall experience, both the good and the bad.

When you provide them the opportunity to leave feedback, it shows that you are willing to look for ways to improve your restaurant’s customer service and food.

 

Restaurant comment card


Feedback from your diners will also reveal where you are excelling along with the areas that need improvement. This will give your staff a lot more scope to better their service. This activity can build great customer relationships and enhance the restaurant experience simultaneously.

 

6. Train your employees

 

A great restaurant customer service is impossible without the involvement of the entire restaurant staff.

Ensure that your employees are trained in a way that pleases the customers who dine at your restaurant.

Make it a rule for your team to greet the diners with a smile when they come in.

Ask your staff to be polite and listen to what the customers have to say, after which they can guide them accordingly.

 

Restaurant training

 

The staff can ask questions and make suggestions based on customers’ likes while they place their order. However, do not interrupt when the customers converse among themselves.

If need be, the attendant can politely intervene to help them with the order. Repeating the order after the diner finishes placing it can help you record them correctly and conveys your attention to detail.

 

7. Keep customers entertained

 

The quote, “quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten,” seems apt here.

Make the time that customers spend at your restaurant with their friends and family worthwhile.

Many people are out for lunch or dinner, and arranging a live music show can be a great idea to keep them entertained. Music are also a superb for bringing down customers’ stress levels and will help in creating a positive brand image of your restaurant.

 

8. Remember customer names and personal details

 

Customers are genuinely amazed to see their favorite restaurant’s owner remember their names when they came back to visit the place again.

Personal attention to the customers ensures that they keep returning over and over again to your restaurant.

You can record the birthdays and anniversaries of your customers. People will mostly visit restaurants on such special occasions, and you can make it even more memorable by arranging exclusive discounts for them on such days.

 

Restaurant customer service remember someones name

 

You can also send them your best wishes and special discount offers via text messages.

For birthdays, you can have a small cake ready for the customer to cut and thus, celebrate their big day in your restaurant.

Train a section of your staff to sing a birthday song and dance around the customer’s table. This way, you can make them feel special and simultaneously build a positive restaurant image.

 

9. Constantly engage with customers

 

Take your restaurant customer service to the next level by engaging with your diners outside the restaurant as well.

Make them know that you remember them and would love to have them over at the restaurant. You can send invites, share discount coupons, and other seasonal and promotional offers through text messages.

Alongside this, you can introduce a loyalty system to engage more personally with customers by sharing reward points every time they dine with you or place an online food order from your restaurant.

 

Restaurant customer service engagement

 

Rewarding your customers for posting food pictures from your restaurant on social media and tagging your brand can build customer engagement.

Similarly, you can benefit those customers who take the time to post a helpful review about your restaurant. It portrays how you value and treat your diners.

 

10. Stay active on social media

 

One of the best ways to interact with diners is by staying active on social media. It will boost your brand image and help in gaining popularity.

You can upload pictures of your restaurant along with some mouth-watering dishes to attract customers to your eatery.

Along with these, replying to customer queries and comments, and thanking them for their appreciation is another way to establish strong ties and connect with them.

 

Wrapping Up

 

At a restaurant, the sole priority should not be confined to serving great food alone. Great food and excellent restaurant customer service are a supremely lucrative package.

A fabulous dining experience is equally vital to building a positive brand image for your restaurant. Thus, focus on building a great rapport with your customers and make them feel at home.

 

Excellent service

 

Nothing could be worse than a disappointed and dissatisfied customer. Winning over such unhappy customers can be hard as most of them do not wish to visit or place orders with you again. They only remember the poor experience, whether it was due to unsatisfactory food or services.

Customers want to have great meals along with commendable services.

With so many restaurants ready to deliver an excellent experience to their customers, you need to think of unique strategies to impress your diners and enhance their overall experience with you.

About Josh Wood

Founder | Writer | Tech Enthusiast