5 Things Restaurant Owners and Managers Can Do To Improve Service
There are two fundamental principles which restaurants are built upon: serve great food and provide great service. While the food part of the equation is pretty cut-and-dry, the service piece is a little cloudier. Many restaurant owners fail to take the time to exactly identify what they want their service and customer experience to look and feel like.
Creating a solid service program requires investment. When things go wrong, it is often a sign of a bigger operation problem that is being ignored. To fix one, you have to address the other.
Be clear about what good service should look like
Many restaurants run their business without any sort of service guidelines. It may seem unnecessary for a small, non-corporate restaurant to have service guidelines, but it is important to provide a playbook for employees. Service guidelines should provide clear goals, steps, and performance expectations for the staff.
Set an example of great service for employees to follow
The importance of leading and inspiring your team to improve on a daily basis can’t be understated. A memo, or a quarterly meeting, simply isn’t enough. Great service requires daily attention. As an owner or manager, when your focus is on improving service, you will see change begin to occur.
Treat your employees like you want them to treat guests
When employees know that management has their back, they will commit to almost anything a business is trying to achieve. It’s important to remember that hospitality and productivity die in a culture of fear. It’s hard to give great service when constantly feeling belittled by management. When employees feels supported, they’re more likely to maintain the level of hospitality desired by restaurant owners and managers.
Check in regularly with managers
Restaurant managers are often viewed as the face of the establishment. They are the one regular customers recognize and engage with when they visit. And while they certainly want to be successful, their own ideas of running a restaurant may not always align with those of ownership. Once guidelines have been established, ownership needs to ensure they are carried out. Consistent follow up ensures that managers are executing on the service standards that have been laid out.
Seek feedback from customers
Most restaurants have some way of allowing customers to provide feedback, whether through a comment card or an online survey. A business with a social media presence has the advantage of having an open platform for comments, both good and bad. If handled properly, dealing with negative comments in that forum can be wildly beneficial to a business. Social media provides a business a platform to show they genuinely care about the customer experience.
Improving customer service is a hands-on task for restaurant owners and managers. By demonstrating what good customer service looks like, employees will more easily recognize the expectations.
If you’d like to discuss more strategies for improving customer service in your restaurant, bar, or establishment, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.