Customer service in the restaurant is anything we do for the customer that enhances the customer experience . This includes small but very important things like being friendly and Courteous when handling customers , On time delivery of dishes after ordering, Excellent follow up between the kitchen and service staff to ensure all the details and specifications of the customer have been understood by the chef , Calling regular customers by the name, Showing the customer that you care, Empathy in handling customer complaints and questions, as well as providing customers with well explained instructions on the menu and modes of payment.
Customers have varying ideas of what they expect from the customer interaction. The restaurant staff must get to know their customers and strive to provide them with excellent customer services. In order to enhance customer experience, restaurateurs need to understand customer needs and what satisfies these needs. They should try to learn the difference between customers expectation and perception especially on quality, level of service , presentation and the overall dinning experience
Restaurateurs should be able to create a strong base of loyal customers. Your sales revenue is heavily reliant on royal customers so providing them with a good dining experience will make make them come back . Loyal customers are the ones that guarantee your restaurant’s prosperity for the years to come. If they are happy customers, they will spread the word. You can’t live without them. So are you doing the right thing to keep them happy.
The customer service providers in a restaurant who are mainly the waiters and the bar men should asses their own strengths and weaknesses and begin to understand the customer that they are serving. This should begin by understanding the barriers to excellent customer service. They should improve and acquire good communication and listening skills , moodiness, altitude, hospitality skills and knowledge etc .By becoming familiar with their own barriers to hospitality customer service and understanding customer expectations, customer service providers are equipping themselves to fully serve their customers
The management and the staff should also try to understand what the customers are expecting from them in terms:
- Service level and quality – customers expect the food and beverage service that they think is appropriate for the level of purchase that they are making. staff should be friendly, efficient, composed, and are able to handle difficult situations and criticisms professionally.No matter how busy the restaurant is, they should cater any table in need of their service and listen attentively when customers at their tables speak.
- Action –customers need action when a problem or question arises in the food and beverage service process. Wait staff should clean the table after the customers have left, so that other customers can have a clean table when they come in. Staffs should clean spills and replace dropped food immediately, and not make a big deal of it. Their should be flexible return policies and customer carry out services in response to the need for action . Customers like to think that they are an important priority and that when a need or question arises someone will be ready and waiting to help them
- Product knowledge– Customers expect that waiters have a sound knowledge of all the item on offer in the menu in terms of preparation methods, ingredients, accompaniments. etc .Before the beginning of any service, their should be a mis-en- place (preparation before service) which should include a briefing from the production department to the service personnel on all items on offer in the menu
- Price – The cost of everything customers will purchase in a restaurant is very important to them. That is why customers will spend a lot of time studying the menu. Customers want to use their financial resources as efficiently as possible
- Appreciation – customers need to know that we appreciate their business. Ensure you say “thank you “to the customer. customer appreciation can be achieved through name recognition, Respect, special discounts, information newsletters, courtesy etc
- Food and beverage Quality – Customers are much less likely to question price of food and beverages if they are buying from restaurant that has a reputation for producing a high quality products
Techniques for exceeding customers’ expectations in a restaurant business
- Tell your customers what they can expect from you- convey to your customers your commitment to them
- Become familiar with your customers-get to know who they are and why they do came to your restaurant . Find out their likes and dislikes, where they like to sit, their favorite staff, entertainment etc
- Maintain consistency- always deliver a consistent service experience. Customers like to know that they will have the same positive experiences every time they interact with you
- Ask your customers what their expectations are- find out what they see as the benefit of coming to your restaurant . What would they like you to do what you are not already doing
- Live up to their expectations –follow through by accomplishing what you have said that you would do
- Train Your Staff- Ensure all of your employees, not just your customer service representatives, understand the way they should talk to, interact with, and problem-solve for customers. Provide employee training that gives your staff the tools they need to carry good customer service through the entire customer experience.
For an in- House customer service training contact us