It is no secret that hospitality is a difficult industry to succeed in and providing a great product or delicious food isn’t always enough. Great service will help to facilitate your entire business, and it costs less to retain current customers than it does to attract new ones.
One of the main issues that prevents customers from returning is slow service. Recent research has suggested a whopping 87% of diners would not return to a restaurant or pub if they experience slow service from staff, and 95% of diners would tell their friends if they received slow service. This means that in addition to customers not returning to you, they may also impact the likelihood of new customers visiting you due to the impact of negative word of mouth.
Word of mouth
A recent report found that 80% of people say that they feel word of mouth influences them on where they decide to eat four times more than they are influenced by social media. In addition to this, consumers are twice as likely to eat somewhere if somebody they know recommends the place than they are to choose based on TripAdvisor reviews or deals and discounts.
The problem is that less than half of customers complain about slow service while they are at the venue, which makes it impossible for staff to try and put it right. Many customers will simply not return or will leave a negative rating online later on, which will make it more difficult to attract new customers in the future.
Dealing with complaints
All businesses will make mistakes now and again, but what’s important is that any issues are dealt with in the right way, to turn a mistake into an even greater experience for your customer. Something as small as offering a complimentary glass of wine or a voucher to spend next time they visit has the power to not only put a mistake right, but may also prevent your customer from telling their friends and family, which will protect your business from negative word of mouth. A small gesture does not have to cost you a lot of money but it has the potential to save your business from losing a large amount of revenue in the long term.
As for ways to reduce the number of mistakes that occur in the first place, we have a few tricks up our sleeve! Technology can have a big impact on the way you run your business. It can really help you to understand your business, and also improve the customer service you provide.
As we discussed earlier, slow service can have a detrimental impact on your business. There are a number of ways that this can be improved. Cutting out any unnecessary processes is usually a good place to start. For example, there are ways that you can eliminate pen and paper ordering, which will reduce mistakes and save you time. Using a tablet to take your customers’ order at their table is the most streamlined method, or alternatively the order can be put straight into an EPOS system that will be sent straight to the kitchen so meals can start getting prepped. Traditionally, this would be all be written down on a notepad, and then manually given to the kitchen, which could result in illegible handwriting, missed orders, and lost revenue. By streamlining the ordering process it means that your front of house staff can stay on the floor serving customers and upselling, instead of walking backwards and forwards to the kitchen.
Slow payment systems can also really slow down service. Trends are changing and customers want to be able to pay for their meals quicker than ever. A unique service from Paymentsense allows you to print a bill and close off a table on the Epos Now system directly from the card machine itself, eliminating the need to run back and forth from table to till. Additionally, the demand for contactless payments, including apps is on the rise, so it's important that your business is adapting to these changes.
Utilising technology can really boost your customer service levels and help you stand out from the crowd. Your business will run more efficiently from front of house right the way through to the kitchen, and you will free up time for your staff, so they can spend more time focusing on delivering fantastic food and service.
Get in Touch
Are you in the process of launching your business? Get in touch to find out about more of the benefits that Epos Now can bring your business. Call us on 0800 2 945 945!