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Reliability and customer experience go hand-in-hand, and it’s critical to not only understand what the customers want and expect, but to further ensure that the needed practices are put into place on a daily basis.
In an effort to recognize and determine the strategies that are needed, it’s important to consider your audience and the environment.
For example, in a fast-casual restaurant, customer expectations are to receive fast and accurate service at a reasonable price, served by a friendly staff in a clean environment. If there’s a mismatch—such as the service being slow, or the food being poorly prepared—your customers are going to be dissatisfied. Having reliable communication tools is essential for the success of the business, especially when 70% of the revenue comes from the drive-thru business.
In a casual-dining restaurant, the customer expects to be greeted by a host, who will provide an update on wait time or guide the customer to a table. From there, customers expect a server to appear in a short timeframe, provide waters and begin the ordering process.
It’s simple: customers want a smooth transaction and experience that creates a win-win. Easy, right? Although it sounds effortless, high turnover rates teamed with a fast-paced environment can lead servers to easily brush this important part of the job aside.
To ensure reliable service, it’s important for restaurant owners and managers to develop processes that standardize the experience, no matter who is working on a given day or evening. One approach could be to set a standard that all seated guests are greeted by a server within 60 seconds, and the first course arrives within 10 minutes. When you track benchmarks, yet still give servers the autonomy to handle specific situations the way they think is best, you can help your staff understand what it takes to exceed expectations.
Through providing high-quality communication tools and having processes in place, you can support the success of your staff and restaurant, as well as ensure a positive experience for your customers.