How can customer experience be improved? How do I keep my restaurant guests happy?
If you’ve found yourself asking questions along these lines, you’re in the right place.
It’s that time of year again. We’re setting personal resolutions (and crossing our fingers that we’ll stick to them).
Now is also an opportune time to draw up plans that will advance your business. The basis for delighting your restaurant guests in 2020 is simple but powerful:
Think like your guests. Strive to offer them what they want and need.
You can do just that in the four ways outlined below.
1. Maintain Cleanliness and Orderliness by Doing This
When running a restaurant, the workload can run you down. There are times it feels like you’re juggling too many tasks all at once.
How, then, do you keep everything in check?
Get a little help. Why not outsource some of the work?
Stop worrying about cleaning and maintaining all your employees’ uniforms. Instead, work with a managed uniform rental service.
Why? This is beneficial to your establishment in numerous ways.
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Furthermore, a managed uniform rental service can save you time, energy and money by:
- Keeping track of every single uniform so you don’t have to.
- Having workwear repaired and replaced.
- Keeping uniforms clean and presentable.
Plus, renting uniforms is more cost-effective in the long run.
It’s better than buying a new one every time someone joins your staff or there’s a lost or damaged garment.
With more time on your hands, you’ll be able to keep your establishment in order.
Maintaining a clean and orderly restaurant not only results in a hygienic environment. It also plays a crucial role in the perception of your restaurant.
Go over all the little details. They can greatly affect the impression upon your customers.
2. Offer the Two Things More Important than Good Food
Restaurants aren’t just about the food.
If that’s the case, then what more do your guests want?
First, they want a fulfilling dining experience.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think of all you can do to keep them satisfied while at your restaurant.
People appreciate experiences that aren’t riddled with hiccups. Find every possible hitch and brainstorm on how to rectify them all.
From the moment a customer walks in, to the moment they leave, make sure they have a good time.
It’s also important to stay consistent. If your diners have a good time today, then, by all means, they should enjoy themselves every other time they stop by.
Be a great host at all times. Have guests welcomed cordially and directed to a table as soon as they arrive. Keep in mind that delays are a pet peeve for many diners.
They don’t want to wait too long to:
- Receive the menu.
- Have their order taken.
- Get served.
- Receive their bill.
And yet, despite your best efforts, delays are inevitable.
In such instances, your customers will appreciate being honestly informed about waiting times.
This applies both to finding a table as well as when they can expect dishes that take longer to prepare.
And while they wait, help them while away their time.
There are two easy and effective ways to do this which will keep patrons busy.
- The first is to provide free Wi-Fi. Don’t let the financial implications of making such a move discourage you.
Customers can spend up to 50% more in establishments that offer them connectivity.
- The other is to offer free appetizers. While guests await their meal, give them a complimentary light snack or breadbasket.
The second thing diners want is exceptional customer service.
Excellent culinary delights can fail to impress if accompanied by unsavoury customer service.
And Kiwis take service very seriously. 61% of people wouldn’t return to a restaurant with unsatisfactory service.
3. Keep Up With These Big Restaurant Trends in 2020
This isn’t to say you should just go with the flow.
Rather, keeping tabs on trends will help you better understand market dynamics.
Doing so can give insight into what new ideas are a match for your business, so you don’t get left behind.
Industry experts have already identified what will shape the restaurant landscape this year.
Here’s a rundown of what to expect.
If there’s a pressing issue among many restaurant-goers today, it’s the “how” factor.
People are becoming more concerned about the sourcing of the food they consume.
This is set to continue over the year for two reasons:
- increasing consumer consciousness, and
- a greater interest in transparent processes.
How can your restaurant benefit from this? By showing commitment to ethical and humane practices.
A locavore is a person who prefers consuming food grown locally. This trend goes hand in hand with food sourcing.
People who identify as locavores prefer organic farm-grown food. Their lifestyle aims at supporting local farmers.
Food Waste Management
2020 will see a greater interest in how dining establishments handle food waste.
It’s only natural that if people have concerns about where their food comes from, they’ll want to know where its remains go.
It’s not hard to see why.
- Every year over 1 billion tonnes of food goes to waste.
- 70 per cent of food turns to waste even before it gets onto a customer’s plate.
- Of this, restaurants alone account for 40 per cent.
You can reduce food waste in several ways.
- Keep track. Develop an inventory to identify how much waste you generate and where it’s highest.
- Evaluate. Go over your purchases and compare this to consumption.
- Repurpose. Anticipated demand won’t always be accurate. Find ways to safely repurpose ingredients rather than throwing them away.
Other trends to keep an eye out for are:
- Reduced plastic usage
- More plant-based foods
- Foods harvested in a manner that encourages soil regeneration
- Healthier options for kids’ menus, such as whole-grain food
4. Harness the Power of Technology
If one thing is certain in New Zealand’s restaurant industry, it’s got to be competition.
While some are ceasing operations, many new restaurants are opening their doors.
For perspective, 7 new hospitality outlets open up every day across New Zealand. So, how can you give your establishment an edge?
Make technology work to your advantage. This will result in a more efficient and effective business environment.
Remember the point about having a seamless experience? Technology can make it a reality, and offer you several benefits.
More Data, Better Insight
Data analytics contribute to a better understanding of consumer behaviour. You can match your restaurant operations to your client demographics and psychographics.
Improved Internal Processes
From interactive, on-demand training to better communication among staff, the possibilities are endless.
Using cloud-based applications can improve workflow and make collaboration much easier.
Hassle-free Online Reservations
Offer convenience to your customers. Enabling them to book their table before they arrive makes their lives easier.
It will improve your planning while helping to reduce queues and commotion.
The static paper menu of today may soon be a thing of the past with an interactive digital equivalent.
Picture a menu that suggests meal and wine pairings. Or displays options based on pre-selected dietary preferences.
Using a tablet and software, you can do this and blow your customers’ minds.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of ordering food in rather than dining out.
While taking orders by phone is fine, a growing number of people prefer to order online.
If you don’t already fulfil online orders, you may be missing out on serving a quarter of the country’s population.
Remember, Customer Service Is Make-or-Break
At the end of the day, exceptional service is your greatest asset.
The warmth of a server’s smile, their professionalism and their presentability are an absolute delight.
Plus, they set the pace for a customer’s satisfaction.
Your customers will recall all this. In turn, it will inform their decision on whether or not to return.
Invest in training your staff and in keeping them looking their very best.
The easiest way to do the latter is to choose a managed uniform rental service that meets your unique needs.
Alsco’s trusted service offers you a comprehensive catering workwear solution.
By choosing Alsco, you benefit from:
- Workwear customised to match your brand identity
- Sanitary, durable uniforms
- An extensive range of styles and sizes
- A sophisticated barcode system to keep track of all uniforms
- Flexibility to meet your changing needs at no extra cost
- Trusted, reputable, service for one annual fee
All this starts from as little as $1 a day.