When thriving for ultimate customer service in a restaurant there are many things that need to be taken into consideration and you need to understand why customers choose your restaurant and how you can improve the service even more!
In short, the combination of high-quality professionalism, caring attention, efficiency, and friendly humor are the key factors in offering a better service to customers in a restaurant.
However, in this article, we discuss more in-depth the things that will help you understand how to offer better service to customers and how to implement the practices into your business! You are probably eager to see the ways so let’s get straight to the point!
What To Do When Customers Walk In
So first thing to do when a customer walks in is to recognize them and if you are busy with the other customers, give them a little eye contact so they know that you will be with them shortly.
You should always use appropriate titles such as sir, miss, etc so the customers feel good and comfortable and also listen to them with care.
After escorting them to the table you should tell the evening specials and give more information about the dishes than required so you can demonstrate your skills and knowledge, which is in straight connection to great customer service.
When taking the orders make sure that you have your technique mastered because every waiter will take orders in a different way. Some will write down everything and someone can remember orders even from a large group.
What To Do When Customers Are Seated
While the customers are seated it’s really important to keep an eye out for the table so if they have any needs, requests, or questions you will be there shortly.
It’s good to remember that there certainly is too much interaction with customers so don’t be over-enthusiastic because it’s annoying if the waiter comes every 2 minutes and interrupts the conversation within the table. You probably know the feeling, at least I do!
If there are delays in the meal you should keep the customer informed so the honesty remains between the staff member and the customer which is essential to feel.
When serving the meals, serve the meals from the left side and beverages from the right and bring everyone’s meals at the same time. Also, try not to carry anything above their heads because I have personally seen a couple of times when the waiter spills a whole soda on the customer which is well… A little funny to the rest of the table but not so to the waiter and customer.
What To Do When Customers Are Eating
When the customers are eating remember to keep an eye on the table so if they need anything you need to be present.
After the first couple of minutes, you should go and ask is everything to their liking firstly to see if the customers are satisfied, and second to prevent the customer from eating 4/5 of the meal and then returning it in hopes of a refund. Let’s face it that happens surprisingly often so it’s good to ask the question.
A couple of additional checkups are ok to do after the first one but don’t go 8 times to check up with them.
After they have finished eating you should check if they would like some desserts or anything else, if not bring the check without delays because it’s not the customer’s job to constantly try to get eye contact for the check.
What To Do When Customers Are Leaving
When the customers take their leave be sure to thank the customers and make them feel wanted and appreciated. Also if you have a feedback tablet or some other means of feedback you can quickly tip them for it.
The 4 parts above show you exactly what to do the entire time the customers are inside the restaurant, however, customer service doesn’t end there and there will be obstacles in the way. Let’s talk about these subjects next.
How To Solve Problems & Complaints
If the customer has some problems or complaints during their visit the only way to handle that correctly is with the utmost professionalism, let’s see how.
1. Apologise And Listen Carefully To What The Customer Has To Say
When listening to the customer complaining don’t smile but try to look understanding, friendly, and like you are taking it really seriously.
2. Understand What The Customer Is Saying
Try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and even if the complaint is minor and feels like nonsense, the customer is always right and should be made feel like it.
3. Act Fast And Try To Solve The Problem Quickly
Acting fast is the key and if you already know how to solve the problem good, if not contact your superiors and talk with them quickly about the solution.
4. Thank The Customer From His Time And Report To The Manager
As an employee, if it isn’t clear what you can offer in return or how to solve the problem talk it out with a manager and get a solution, usually it’s beneficial for both parties.
5. Return To The Customer
Always inform the customer about the solution and give it to them in a positive and understanding way. Usually when you are understanding the customer will calm down and makes peace.
When using these steps 90% of the time everything will go well, however, if there is a customer out of control that just won’t calm down and is acting scary and threatening, it is more than okay to refuse to serve, and in the worst-case calling the security.
5 Ways How To Get Feedback In A Restaurant
There are many ideas on how to get feedback and I have listed my personal favorites below!
- 1. Use a feedback tablet at the entrance and collect emails while at it for email marketing.
- 2. Include a stand on the tables with a paper and pen.
- 3. Use a Qr-code in the receipt. However, this is kind of a hassle so offer a free coffee for next time if the customer leaves feedback.
- 4. Use a feedback form on the restaurant’s website
- 5. Use instant feedback within the POS system
Asking for feedback really shows the customer that the restaurant has great values and always thrives for the best, giving the customer a much better feeling about the restaurant.
Other Customer Service Improvement Ideas
There are many more ideas that you can include in your restaurant and below you can find our top favorites!
- High communication between staff members
- Make Sure Everything Is Clean
- Host Special Events
- Free ”Chefs Special” Samples
- Create Customers Always First Environment
When these steps are added to your business, customer satisfaction, appreciation and comfort will skyrocket to the roof! Let’s see some examples of good customer service
Offering good customer service is the most important aspect of any restaurant and it will determine how does the customer sees your restaurant. There are many innovative ideas to make your brand easier to remember and the servers are the core of it all.
Remember to not take it too seriously and everything will be much easier and much more fun! Having fun with the customers is really important as well so don’t get too cold feet with the customers, they won’t bite!