5 Tips for Creating a Memorable Restaurant Customer Experience
Most customers usually expect you to deliver a top-notch customer experience. Otherwise, especially in such a competitive industry, they may be tempted to try other restaurants in search of the great customer experience they have in mind. So, how do you create a memorable restaurant experience? The answer is: it’s not only about the food.
To know the real answer, consider applying the following five tips:
1. Know what makes your guests happy
Since no two restaurants are alike, you need to pinpoint what specifically makes your restaurant a pleasant customer experience besides the issues that could use some tweaking. It could be the menu, the atmosphere, or your efficient staff. To know for sure keep an eye on:
- Post-dining surveys: a paper or digital post-dining questionnaire is the best way to get timely and honest feedback.
- Review sites: which include your own website as well as other well-known sites such as TripAdvisor.
- Social media: many guests would voice their customer experience on social media.What they say shows you the elements you should work on.
- Analytics: check the analytics of your restaurant management system to see when and why you get the most visits to your restaurant.
2. Know what your guests prefer and require
Every guest needs to feel valued. Taking your guests’ preferences and requirements into consideration makes it easier to create a memorable customer experience for them. With the help of technology, this could be made much easier. Your guest management system may collect information on your guests’:
- table preferences
- food preferences
- food allergens
- number of visits
- amount of spends
Such data helps personalize your interaction with guests and helps you offer them a personalized customer experience.
3. Know how to be flexible
Adapting to the unique needs of your guests creates a satisfying if not an excelling customer experience. Put in mind that restaurants abound, and your competitor may be just around the corner. With that in mind, you need to go that extra mile for your guests. For example, if a guest asks for a well-cooked version of a medium-cooked dish, you should be willing to accommodate their need. To make sure you can be flexible at all times consider:
- Making notes on what customers have asked to be changed or adjusted.
- Ensuring ingredient substitutes for your basic dishes (e.g., meat-free alternatives).
- Making room for last-minute table seating changes.
- Allowing staff members to get creative with problem-solving.
4. Know the knack of efficient service
A study by Ohio University shows that 80% of restaurants shut down in their first year. The main cause behind that is poor customer service resulting in poor customer experience. Besides reflecting on the feedback on your restaurant, check out that of your competitors. There is a lot to learn by examining your competitors’ both positive and negative reviews. A few things to fix could be:
- Long wait times: which are the biggest turnoffs for guests. Whether it is waiting to be seated or for food to arrive, prompt service is a major factor in a memorable customer experience.
- Uncomfortable seating: such as wobbly tables or chairs or even mislaid-out tables. Comfortable seating increases the experience of hospitality in restaurants.