What are the steps to improve restaurant customer service?
Irrespective of the type of restaurant you are running, it is essential to provide top-notch and unparalleled customer service to make it a hit with consumers. You can measure multiple quantitative metrics in your food joint, such as the time it takes to prepare a starter dish with your commercial kitchen equipment or the typical waiting time for a customer. However, it can be trickier to identify those transcendental consumer service qualities as a kitchen manager.
One should also ensure that the staff manages their attitude according to the setting, as the service provided by a high-class restaurant must differ wholly from what one gets in a single-line diner. However, some user service principles remain universally applicable irrespective of the food establishment style or the dressing policy. One such code is to efficiently serve patrons in a manner that takes utmost care of their requirements. If you want to establish a durable restaurant customer service policy or wish to improve the one you've already got, we have prepared a list for you in the paragraphs below.
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Communicate your Expectations Clearly to your Staff
It takes regular and constant effort to develop a restaurant culture that puts the patron first. If you want to enforce this culture in your workplace efficiently, your staff must know about all the expectations you have from them. Therefore, you must convey your expectations directly to your employees. For example, tell them what you expect from them when a problem arises in the restaurant. In addition, inform them of any existing action plan to follow to handle all of the issues arising in the food joint. You also must provide training to all your new and old employees by creating a manual containing your eatery's user service guidelines and policies. You can also look for guidance by contacting Simco – Brisbane's leading commercial kitchen equipment supplier.
It is essential to remember that boosting the service level in the food establishment is an ongoing process immensely influenced by the specific activities in your restaurant. Recheck and modify your policy by sparing some time and updating & tweaking the guidelines wherever applicable. It will also be beneficial to keep everyone on the same page regardless of turnover rates by having frequent team meetings.
Make the Guest Feel Special through Personalisation
If you want to make the dining experience memorable and satisfactory for a patron, making the experience personalised goes a long way. Such personalisation includes steps like greeting a user by their first name, making the guests feel comfortable and cared for and making them feel special. The crucial step to achieving this objective is to provide training to your team to master the concept of offering services with a smile. Instruct the servers to be friendly and warm in their verbal and non-verbal communications with the customer. Supposedly minor factors like your body language, handling the commercial catering equipment and eye contact are grossly underestimated and have the capability to positively or negatively impact an encounter.
Providing outstanding service is also essential as it helps in enhancing your user base. When the guests feel ideally at home at your establishment, they return for more and recommend the place to their friends. One can leverage hospitality by providing special incentives and loyalty programs to make the customers come back. Also, remember that marketing related to customising the guest experience can be done beyond the boundaries of your restaurant by using user data with the help of methods like newsletters and email campaigns.
Try to Reduce & Manage the Waiting Times
The most dreaded part of eating out for a customer is waiting for a long time. Customers nowadays have multiple options in when, where and how to enjoy their cuisine with the rise in modern technology and off-premise dining. Many options have forced the kitchen managers to pull up their socks. One can tackle the problem of long waiting queues through a fully automated solution, such as a kitchen display system incorporated within all the devices. These systems execute various software attributes like order tracking and pace of the meal, confirming that food will reach for delivery, either off-premise or to the table within the scheduled time. In addition, programs that employ innovative real-time information like the ongoing activity in your restaurant to display user quote times will perfectly blend your off-premise and in-store customer traffic and ensure that the traffic in one doesn't dominate the other. For help in this regard through buying a catering product, contact Simco – Melbourne's foremost commercial kitchen equipment supplier.
Making the waiting lobby easier on the eye and pleasant is another properly employable restaurant customer service measure. For instance, a Japanese restaurant may offer a small sample of the sushis on the menu. Some establishments have added modern touches like an interactive video game or quiz system to distract and occupy the minds of the minor children visiting the facility with their parents. In short, you must always look to keep waiting times negligible no matter what method you select.
Be Proactive While Responding to Queries & Complaints
Complaint from consumers is something that every restaurant has to face daily. While the scope and seriousness of the complaint or the query may vary, the organisation shouldn't change its prescribed method while handling these claims. All establishments need to be prepared for an emergency and create a comprehensive and exhaustive action plan related to various departments like the one handling the commercial kitchen equipment. There may be slight variations on the topics covered for every establishment, but the fundamental rules must remain the same, as given below.
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Please give your Full Attention to the Customer
Patiently listen to the user's complaint and ensure empathising with them while assuring every support. In addition, it is a basic manner not to interrupt the patron till they have finished talking.
- Ensure Full Understanding of the Problem
Always make sure that you understand every word of the complaint or query made by the customer. Once fully understood, thank the user for sharing their valuable feedback before jumping on to the next step.
- Sincerely Apologise for the Mistake
Your body language must demonstrate your disappointment at failing to make the customer happy. While apologising, try to make it personal and say things that one says in everyday life and not just as a formality. For example, saying 'I'm sorry' will go a long way in soothing customers than saying 'I apologise'. In addition, always remember that a customer does not want to hear any excuses. Therefore, keep the apology short and sweet. You can also prepare a special treat as a means of apology with the help of unique appliances from Simco – the top commercial kitchen equipment manufacturer in Sydney & Perth.
- Try to Fix the Issue
Actively work towards resolving the issue as swiftly as you can. A dissatisfied customer may leave the place and never return. In such scenarios, it is strictly essential to maintain your composure and ensure such a mistake never happens again.
- Inform the Incident Higher Authorities
Once all the steps mentioned above are finished, log and inform the issue higher authorities. Refer to your organisational consumer service policy and give yourself mental points on how well you followed it. Discuss with the management whether a change in strategy and purchase of other essential commercial catering equipment is required. Always remember that such harsh incidents are integral to further positive changes in an organisation's culture.
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