Oftentimes as restaurant owners, focusing on the customer can take up so much time that in-house changes can easily get overlooked. Hey, we all know that the customer comes first, but providing a well-rounded overall dining experience is just as important. A happy customer is a returning one, right? Here’s our top 3 resolutions for 2015 to focus on inside your restaurant:
1. Staff with Gumption
Make sure the service staff and kitchen staff shares the same passion as you do. The experience and attitude of your servers make a big difference to your diners. Has your staff been trained to upsell? Simply offering a drink or appetizer as a house favorite during the order process can drive an average of $10 to your check average. Does every staff member know details of what makes your restaurant a success? The beginning of the year is a great time to remind the entire staff the small details that helps your restaurant succeed. Does your expo line have full knowledge of the menu? The answers to these questions can change the diners experience and ensure a return visit.
2. Keep it Clean
Cleanliness of a restaurant is one of the largest reasons a diner will choose to return…or not. Front of the house areas (the dining room, bar and bathroom) reflect on the restaurant management and organization as a whole. Have bus boys check/tidy up the bathroom once an hour (especially during a rush). Make sure wait staff keeps from stacking plates in wait stations and wipes down tables and visible areas during slow periods. And make it a group effort to keep the floors clean and safe.
3. Market Better
Marketing works, but being consistent is key. Building a relationship with customers and creating a personal and memorable experience for them can go a long way. Have managers check in on tables at least once to make sure diners are enjoying themselves. If they aren’t, make sure your managers are trained to fix a problem. This can include comping an appetizer, offering a coupon—or just an apology.
Other in-house marketing tactics can include happy hours, table tents with promotions and specials—even discounts printed on a customer’s receipt. Did you utilize the email addresses provided by Restaurant.com last year? If not, 2015 is a good year to start. Send a monthly promotion and update diners on special in-house events you may be hosting.
Remember in 2015 that EVERY customer is valuable and word of mouth travels fast, be it positive or negative. A complete dining experience from start to finish is the best way to get diners coming back for more.