Great customer service should be a no brainer when it comes to making your restaurant the best it can be. It is crucial to any business that their customer service is on point, especially restaurants as the environment can be quite hectic for staff during service. Regardless, the customer deserves a smooth dining experience and should not have any reason to worry about what they have ordered.
How Do You Deliver Excellent Customer Service At Your Restaurant?
Firstly, what is the actual definition of customer service? According to the Oxford Dictionary. It means “help and advice that a company gives people who buy or use its products or services.” When customers walk through the door, you want to make sure staff are helpful and they feel welcome. Giving them your undivided attention and respect whilst serving them a great meal is bound to make them return for more, encouraging repeat business.
Happy customers are imperative to your business and the continuous profit it makes. Back in 2019, Forbes carried out a study regarding customer satisfaction and the statistics are overwhelming. For example, 84% of companies that are constantly improving their customer service report a drastic increase in their profits, 96% of customers say customer service is important when considering loyalty to a brand and customer-oriented businesses are 60% more profitable than those that don’t focus on customers. On the other hand, New Voice Media reports that “42% of customers are put off by rude or unhelpful customer service staff.”
Overall, both studies suggest great emphasis on the importance of customer service hence we have listed below five ways to deliver exceptional service and how they can be implemented into your own restaurant.
Ways To Implement Good Customer Service
- Welcome and greet your diners as soon as possible
- Be smooth and efficient
- Resolve issues and complaints immediately
- Incorporate a system
- Introduce technology
Welcome And Greet Your Diners As Soon As Possible
Although the quality of your food is important, the experience diners have from beginning till end matters just as much. The customer’s needs and comfort should be at the forefront of their experience. If your staff are calm, kind and attentive, your customers will also feel relaxed – allowing them to enjoy dining in your restaurant. The process of serving customers and the atmosphere which it is done in plays a great role in all of this. We’ve made a bullet pointed guide on how we think diners should be seated, how they should place their order, receive their food and how they should be seen off.
- Kindly greet customers as they walk through the door, hold the door open as an act of courtesy (if possible) – Of course, with COVID-19 still imminent, extra precautionary measures are to be taken and social distancing should be adhered to.
- Seat your guests as quickly and safely as possible, be careful of bookings and walk-ins as seating new customers on a reserved table could be a very awkward and disappointing situation.
- Once seated, ensure they are comfortable and ask if they need anything before you take their order. Maybe a jug of water, some appetisers, soft drinks etc.
- Keep a close eye on them, if they seem ready, go ahead and ask if it’s ok to take their order. Serve their food in a calm and respectful manner.
- Incorporating a system that allows customers to order and pay from their table is a must have and would dramatically improve your customer service – it brings much needed convenience to the customer.
- Using software like XE EATS, you can introduce this system and make life easy for both your customers and staff.
- Maintain attentiveness throughout the dining experience, speak in a polite tone and don’t interrupt – occasionally ask if everything is alright or if they need anything.
- When they have finished, keep an eye on their body language and expressions, if they are ready to go, clear their plates and bring the bill in a timely and calculated manner – they should not have to ask for it.
Be Smooth And Efficient
Depending on the kind of restaurant you own and the food you serve, the waiting time for orders may differ. This is akin to the customer’s expectation and how long they perceive the waiting time to be. For instance, if they have ordered some pasta, it should be served relatively quickly; however if they order a steak then they should be more understanding of the matter and be willing to wait a little longer. To be safe, it’s better to let customers know in advance if a certain dish will take longer to make and notify the chef immediately.
Being quick and efficient is imperative to someone’s perception of your customer service and the restaurant itself. If you have good food, quick service and professional staff, people will always come back for more.
Resolve Issues And Complaints Promptly
Resolving any issues or complaints a customer may have is a sign of good customer service. If a customer seems upset with the service they are receiving, whatever the problem may be, do your best to make them happy. In busy environments such as restaurants or eat-ins, problems are bound to arise one way or another but dealing with the situation effectively will get you back on track – maintain composure and etiquette that we demonstrated throughout step one. As mentioned above, reliable and professional staff are key to this.
Introduce A System That Everyone Can Follow
This step is fairly straightforward. Structure your business operation during service beforehand, keep everything to do with the restaurant in mind such as: customers, food, staff, the menu, table seating, bookings, ambience etc. Everyone who works for you should be up to date with this system and follow it as much as they can in order to avoid mistakes. It’s a basic principle when it comes to having a smooth and productive service. Like Mrs Beeton once said “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
Incorporate Technology Into Your Restaurant
Something that many local restaurant owners still overlook to this day is the use of modern day technology. Having some kind of EPOS and payment system in place would be really beneficial for your restaurant and how it runs. A website or app is great for taking collection and delivery orders, which has become heavily relied on by customers who can’t cook or don’t have the time to cook. Even fancier restaurants are using deliveries as another way to bring in revenue.
XE EATS understand this and have several features tailored for restaurants. From online app ordering, epos systems, table/kiosk ordering, QR codes, payment gateways and more, XE EATS is adamant on making your business the best it can be. Striving to make ordering from your restaurant as convenient as possible for customers, XE EATS provides all these solutions with no monthly or hidden fees. You can get started now with a website and ordering system free of charge.
In conclusion, good customer service is paramount to the success of any restaurant. The way you greet diners, handle complaints and make ordering convenient for them can make or break your business. XE EATS have platforms which play a big part in all this, something like an order at table system is made to bring your customers and staff a level of convenience that restaurants simply can not achieve themselves, which in the end leads to more profit and revenue for your business.