Restaurant Customer Service: How to Get Regular Customers

What is the eye of the customer?

It’s what the customer sees, whether it’s a nice sight, that will make the customer say wow, or an unpleasant sight that will create a negative attitude. While your customers wait for service, they are sitting or standing and have time to observe your operations. Your guest sees everything, whether it’s clean or dirty. Your guest can also hear everything, like: cooks arguing in the kitchen or the manager yelling at an employee. Do you really want to expose your dirty laundry to your customers?

In the restaurant industry you need to crush your competitors. In today’s economy, it’s hard for restaurants to make a profit and survive. It’s not rocket science to figure out how to survive and even succeed. It is important that you have some experience in the restaurant industry to understand what needs to be implemented in your restaurant. If you don’t have that experience, hire people who have experience and are committed to your success.

Feedback from your customers about your restaurant is crucial to your success. After all, how are you going to know if your people are doing the right thing for the right reasons unless someone is watching them? Your customers see and hear everything while they are in your restaurant. What your customers see and hear can have a huge impact on repeat business.

The following neglected areas will negatively impact repeat business:

  • Parking lot: Cigarettes and garbage all over the parking lot. Smelly and full trash can.
  • Hostess Area: Fingerprints are all over the front doors. There is no one at the door to greet the customer. The employees walk past the guest and do not recognize him.
  • Toilets: The toilets and urinals are dirty.. There are no paper towels or soap and the trash cans are overflowing. The baby changing table has no sanitary wipes and is dirty.
  • Dinning room: Dirty tables and dirty empty condiments. The floor is dirty and there are visible stains on the carpets. The service is slow or the servers talk to each other and do not pay attention to the customers. The servers don’t know the menu and can’t answer questions.
  • Kitchen:Long control times. Cold food. Undercooked or overcooked foods. The cooks talk too loudly and the guests can hear the cooks using profanity. Food is not prepared and all menu items are not available for customers to order.

I’m not saying these things happen in your establishment, but what I’m saying is that there are some restaurants that may have one or more of these problems. This is creating a negative bottom line resulting in decreased repeat business.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see what he sees and hear what he hears, the customer’s eye.Empower your managers to be proactive and prevent problems before they happen or get out of hand. Eliminate all visual nuisances before the guest sees them.; Pretend you are the guest – start your inspection from the parking lot. Then take a full walkthrough of the entire restaurant, correcting problems as you go. Create a list of things that need attention and delegate them to your employees. Remember to follow up to make sure the task you delegated was completed successfully.

Managers must be on the floor during all peak hours. They must give instructions to employees and make visits to the table to ensure that the guest is completely satisfied. Managers must be on the floor 90% of the time and in the office 10% of the time.

Here is the interesting part. Do you want to improve your customer service? If you answered yes, then the next part is relatively easy as long as your managers are on the same page as you and they are sure to fix any visual issues before any peak periods.

There are many great resources to help improve your restaurant operation, such as: Restaurant forms and checklists.

  • Restaurant Front of House Checklists: Use an opening checklist to make sure your restaurant is ready before opening day. Use a closing checklist to help close the restaurant properly and set up the opening shift. One way to keep your restrooms clean is to use a restaurant restroom checklist that ensures restrooms are clean and stocked during shifts. There are many different restaurant forms that can be applied to keeping a shift clean, stocked, and organized.
  • restaurant server forms: I would recommend service form server steps. This form will help increase overall customer service because it focuses on WOW service from the moment the customer enters your restaurant until the customer leaves your restaurant. You can even use the server test or service questionnaire steps to keep your servers informed.
  • Restaurant Kitchen Checklists: A restaurant kitchen checklist is a fantastic tool for preparing the kitchen before any meal period. The manager will walk through your kitchen looking for expired products, use-by date, and proper product rotation. The manager will also ensure that the kitchen is fully stocked and that all food is at the proper temperature for serving or storage.

If for any reason you are having difficulty or are frustrated trying to change your restaurant, you may want to seek out a professional restaurant consultant to help facilitate your policies and procedures. The restaurant consultant can also guide you in implementing quality training that will help you make a profit.

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