Restaurant guests don’t come to your establishment once (at least you don’t want a one and done visit). They return over and over again, which is why you want to make every single dining experience memorable for them.
Keeping that in mind, here are some key tips that will help you create a memorable restaurant experience for your guests. From fine-tuning the ambiance and design of your space, to engaging with your patrons throughout their dining experience, there are a plethora of ways to make your restaurant even more appealing to potential guests.
We will highlight some of these key strategies so that you’re well prepared for creating an experience that brings your guest back and shares their experiences with their friends and family.
Your Experiences – be the customer
Before we get into the highlights, I want you to think about those restaurants in your area that really stand apart. Why do you think they stand apart? What are they doing different from the guest experience side? How do they engage with the customers? How are they using their in-store experience to create an environment that is pleasing? What can you take-away from your experience to incorporate into yours?
Put yourself into the shoes of the customer and when you can begin to do this, you will see the areas in which you can improve.
Create a Sense of Place
Your restaurant’s interior doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Rather, it’s an extension of your brand. Through the use of décor, color schemes, and other stylistic elements, you’re able to convey and ensure consistency with your overall branding.
You want your restaurant’s interior to feel like a continuation of your brand experience. This goes beyond aesthetics and into the realm of mood and feel. Your restaurant space should feel welcoming and warm. It should convey a sense of luxury and ease and a space in which your customers enjoy, easy to navigate and leave wanting to come back for more.
Fine-Tune your Staffing Process
You can’t expect to staff your restaurant in bulk and expect that, for the most part, your patrons will receive good service. Instead, you’ll need to carefully select your staff by maintaining an extensive hiring process. This hiring process consists of two key components.
First, you must ensure that all potential employees pass a thorough interview process. You don’t want to miss talented individuals, but you want to really see who fits your brand and will provide the best possible experience. After all, it is your staff who will engage with your customers the most.
The second key component to your hiring process is ensuring that all of your prospective employees receive training. You don’t want to hire a chef who’s not familiar with knife and cutting utensil safety. You don’t want to hire a server who’s not familiar with handling food and drink.
Set expectations for your staff, don’t assume they know what do to and provide them a roadmap of success.
Build a Comfortable Environment
Whether you have a fine-dining or casual-dining experience, you want to build a comfortable environment for your patrons. In doing so, you’ll be able to attract new patrons to your restaurant and ensure that returning patrons are eager to return. To build a comfortable environment, you need to consider the ambiance of each table, specifically, you need to ensure that the temperature, light, and sound levels are comfortable for your guests.
Match Your Menu and Pricing With Your Location, Brand and Audience
When you’re crafting your restaurant’s menu, be sure to match it with your setting and demographics. That is, you want to ensure that your menu is comprised of dishes that are appropriate for your location and audience. Use data and insights to help you understand what is being ordered, what side might not be as popular and understand the expectations of your targeted audience.
Ensure That Your Dishes Look Appealing From Every Angle
You want your dishes to look appealing from every angle. That is, you want to ensure that your food and non-food items are appealing to your guests and they pass the eye test. Customers make decisions based on what they see, if your presentations is sloppy, you are already creating a negative experience. You also want to make sure that your table settings are appealing clean, tidy, and aesthetically pleasing.
Use technology to enhance the customer experience
To enhance the customer experience, you can use a variety of technology-enabled strategies. Some of these could include:
- Use a reservation system that helps you manage your wait times. A well-designed reservation system can help you manage the wait times for tables and ensure that you’re able to offer your guests an optimal dining experience.
- Make use of a mobile ordering system. A well-designed mobile ordering system can help you manage your wait times, and can also help you keep track of your order’s progress.
- Utilize a loyalty program. Making use of a loyalty program in your restaurant can help you attract new customers and keep returning customers happy.
The experience your brand provides is pivotal in bringing customer back and having your customers tell their friends and family. In order to make your restaurant the best in town, you must make sure that you create a sense of place to fine-tuning your staffing process, from building a comfortable environment to matching your menu and pricing with your location, brand, and audience.
You want guests to feel welcome and satisfied by the time they leave. This can only be achieved by making every dining experience memorable.
EZ-Chow has solutions such as an Online Ordering, Self-Ordering Kiosks and Rewards/Loyalty Solutions that integrate into your existing POS systems. To learn how EZ-Chow can help you with these initiatives and more, get started by contacting us here.