The value of customer service
Most of us want to feel valued when we enter a restaurant. The staff should be pleasant, understanding, and happy to help customers find the perfect meal.
However, customer service also correlates with revenue. Research shows that just a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25% increase in profit. What’s more, repeat customers are proven to spend 67% more than new customers.
Providing top-notch customer service is key to retaining customers, and ultimately increasing profit.
Our tips to improve customer satisfaction
The restaurant industry runs on cut-throat margins, and that means every new customer matters. Providing high-quality service from the first visit will keep customers coming back. Here are 10 ways to enhance your restaurant’s customer service.
Offer al fresco waiting
The average customer only wants to wait for 14 minutes. Giving your customers a cosy place to sit and unwind while they wait for a table can keep guests entertained.
If your establishment does not have a large outdoor eating area, you can still create a comfortable al fresco setup on the sidewalk. Simply having a table or two outside can attract potential diners.
Depending on your restaurant’s capabilities, this table can be for appetizers and drinks or full-service meals. Even if your customers can only receive drinks outside, your diners will wait longer than the 14-minute average.
Provide discounts and special offers
A report by Saclà Italia found that affordable menu options are among the top reasons why some people eat out frequently. This data shows that a low-cost menu will draw in diners.
That said, you can appeal to these customers by creating discounts or weekly specials. In this case, your regular menu items may come at a higher cost, but customers will find value in your routine discounts.
Maintain a fixed menu
Having a fixed lunch menu will increase the sale of targeted food and can improve the quality of specific meals. By not cooking a broad range of meals, your kitchen staff will spend more time mastering the lunch menu. At many successful restaurants, the lunch menu offers the most requested dinner dishes at a more appealing price. A pasta meal that costs £16 at dinner might only be £12 for lunch.
Make the most of the seasons
Many establishments will offer a menu to complement the summer weather or that includes a Christmas dinner. But there are many more seasons you can be capitalising on to improve customer satisfaction. Consider a spooky Halloween special or serve a special Christmas menu in December
Tip: Be sure to install the latest cloud POS system that integrates with apps like Mailchimp. With this, you can then promote your events to your email marketing list.
Offer excellent staff training
Customers want to feel welcome and wanted. Offering your employees training will help them to feel more confident in doing their jobs, provide better customer service and earn more tips. Employee development is a surefire way to keep your employees excited, and motivated employees make for happy customers.
Use mobile ordering to increase interaction between servers and customers by reducing the time staff spend going back-and-forth to the kitchen. With a handheld device, a server can send orders to the kitchen right from the guest’s table.
Provide an outlet for feedback
Customers who feel empowered are much more likely to return. Collecting reviews will give you a genuine idea of improvements you can make to your business to enhance the customer experience. Your restaurant can get feedback via surveys included on digital receipts or via a third party such as TripAdvisor.
1st Financial Training Services found that 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain and 91% simply leave and never come back. Giving your unhappy customers the opportunity to complain, and acknowledging their grievances, may stop you from losing vital business.
Use integrated payments
The Telegraph reports that the average Brit only has £22 cash on them at any time. Customers do not expect a restaurant only to accept cash payment. Instructing diners to withdraw money from a cashpoint, and pay a few fees in the process, may discourage them from dining with you again. With this in mind, installing an integrated payment solution is a must.
Epos Now supports all major payment processors across the world, and you can opt to have a cash drawer that still lets you accept traditional payments. We continually identify the latest technological trends and partner with dozens of apps to best serve you.
Hubspot found that 95% of restaurateurs agree that technology improves business efficiency; what more reason do you have than that?
Take online bookings
If a customer calls to book a table but cannot speak with anyone, they will likely look for a new restaurant. Implementing an online booking system will increase your ability to fill more tables. Using a digital system also avoids human error that can lead to conflicts and poor customer service.
Moreover, putting a booking system on your website lets customers see your special offers, which will make them more excited to dine with you.
Offer a takeout menu
Companies like Deliveroo and UberEats are thriving, showing the growing demand for delivery. If you do not have a website to process orders, there is no need to worry!
With a cloud POS system, your restaurant can integrate with food delivery apps and process orders directly at the register. You can also include a survey request or ask for reviews with each delivery order to improve your online presence.
Get your lighting right
A study found that 91% of casual dining patrons say that an appealing ambience influences their decision on where to dine. The perfect amount of light in a restaurant for reading a menu is no more than three times as bright as the surrounding surfaces, and no more than 10 times as bright as the surrounding walls and floors.
While your lighting does not need to be this scientifically precise, you should strive to make the lighting evoke the vibe of your restaurant. If it is romantic, keep it dark but bright enough to read the menu. If it is an upbeat taco joint, keep it well lit and vibrant!
Use the latest technology to improve customer satisfaction
Customers expect you to keep your restaurant up-to-date with the latest trends. Why, then, do so many businesses allow their restaurant management software to become obsolete?
Install an Epos Now system to help your restaurant keep up with consumer trends. Our software integrates with online ordering apps and marketing tools to give you the resources you need to satisfy your customers.