One of the main turn-offs for people going to a restaurant is the lack of consistency.
Customers expect predictable results when buying a product or a service. If somebody goes to a restaurant, and has a great dinning experience, they expect to get this same experience every time that they go back to the same restaurant.
And this is often the problem. Since restaurants are heavily relying on people (cooks, servers, bussers, hostesses, etc.), and people have different moods and needs, depending on their personal circumstances, delivering a consistently excellent experience is both difficult and challenging.
If these people get temperamental servers, wrong cooked food, or some any other unexpected results, they will leave the restaurant very disappointed to probably never come back.
Part of the success of restaurant franchises is that they work hard standardizing the processes so that the mistakes get minimized. They have thick operations manuals where they cover each aspect of the process, from receiving the guests to the timing and delivery of food, etc.
So what can you do to minimize randomness and deliver a consistent excellent experience to your clients?
To start, you should have the basic processes defined. From the moment that a prospect or client walks in the door, you should have clear processes to greet them, sit them, and deliver them some water or drinks quickly and efficiently.
Same thing with the flow of the meals; Your waiters or managers should know how long each table has been waiting, when and how to deliver the food, when to check if everything is going well, how to deal with difficult customers, etc.
But, even if you try your best to document every possible situation, you will never be able to cover all the possibilities. People react in unpredictable ways and there are not enough manuals in the world to cover every possible scenario.
The most important training that you must give your staff is a good understanding about what your restaurant is all about: Make crystal clear to them what makes your restaurant different from your competitor’s and why your clients are your number one priority, and also it should be theirs.
You must specify in your operations manual that whatever issue occurs with a client, your staff should never argue with them. Make clear that your staff should do their absolutely best to compensate your customers for whatever incident (despite whom has caused it) that could make them unhappy with your restaurant.
If you have clear policies and rules to deal with problems and clients, you will be able to deliver the consistency that your clients are looking for.
Tomorrow I will be taking a well deserved vacation with my family. I’ll be offline for two weeks so don’t expect any new blogs during that time. 🙂
Jose L Riesco
©Riesco Consulting Inc.