Restaurant customer service: how to get repeat customers

What is the customer’s eye?

It is what the client observes, if it is a pleasant sight that will make the client say WOOF, or an unpleasant sight that will create a negative attitude. While your customers are waiting for service, they are sitting or standing and have time to observe your operations. Your guest sees everything, clean or dirty. Your guest can hear everything too, like: cooks arguing in the kitchen or the manager yelling at an employee. Do you really want to expose your dirty clothes to your clients?

In the restaurant industry you need to crush your competitors. In today’s economy, it’s difficult for restaurants to make a profit and survive. It is not rocket science to figure out how to survive and even succeed. It is important that you have some experience in the restaurant industry to understand what needs to be implemented in your restaurant. If you don’t have that experience, hire people who are experienced and committed to your success.

Feedback from your customers about your restaurant is crucial to its success. After all, how are you going to know if your staff is doing the right thing for the right reasons unless someone is watching? Your customers see and hear everything while they are in your restaurant. What your customers see and hear can have a huge impact on repeat business.

The following underserved areas will negatively impact repeat business:

  • Parking lot: Cigarettes and trash all over the parking lot. Full and smelly trash cans.
  • Hostess area: Fingerprints are on all entry doors. There is no one at the door to greet the customer. Employees pass by the guest and do not recognize him.
  • Toilets: The toilets and urinals are dirty. There are no paper towels or soap and the garbage cans are overflowing. The baby changing table has no sanitary napkins and is dirty.
  • Dining room: Dirty tables and dirty, empty condiments. The floor is dirty and there are visible stains on the carpets. Service is slow or servers are chatting with each other and not paying attention to customers. The servers do not know the menu and cannot answer questions.
  • Kitchen:Long control times. Cold food. Undercooked or overcooked foods. Cooks speak too loud and guests can hear cooks using profanity. Food is not prepared and all menu items are not available for customers to order.

I am not saying that these things happen in your establishment, but what I am saying is that there are some restaurants that may have one or more of these problems. This is creating a negative outcome that results in a decrease in repeat business.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see what they see and hear what they hear, the customer’s eye.Train your managers to be proactive and avoid problems before they happen or get out of control. Eliminate all monstrosities before the guest sees them. Make believe you are the guest – start your inspection from the parking lot. Then, take a comprehensive tour of the entire restaurant and correct problems as you go. Create a list of things that need attention and delegate them to your employees. Remember to follow up to make sure the task you delegated completed successfully.

Managers must be on the floor during all rush hours. They should instruct the employees and make table visits to make sure the guest is completely satisfied. Managers must be on the floor 90% of the time and in the office 10% of the time.

Here is the interesting part. Do you want to improve your customer service? If you’ve answered yes, then the next part is relatively easy, as long as your managers are on the same page as you and they without fail correct the monstrosities before any peak period.

There are many great resources to help improve the operation of your restaurant, such as: Restaurant Checklists and Forms.

  • Restaurant versus house checklists: Use an opening checklist to make sure your restaurant is ready before the restaurant opens for the day. Use a closing checklist to help close the restaurant properly and to set the opening shift. One way to keep restrooms clean is to use a restaurant restroom checklist that ensures restrooms are clean and stocked during shifts. There are many different restaurant forms that can be applied to keep a shift clean, stocked, and organized.
  • Server forms restaurant: I would recommend the server steps of the service form. This form will help increase overall customer service because it focuses on WOW service from the moment the customer enters your restaurant until the customer leaves your restaurant. You can even use the server test or the service steps test to keep your servers informed.
  • Restaurant Kitchen Checklists: A restaurant kitchen checklist is a fantastic tool that can be used to prepare the kitchen before any meal period. The manager will conduct a tour of your kitchen looking for expired items, use of date points, and proper product rotation. The manager will also ensure that the kitchen is fully stocked and that all food is at the proper temperature for serving or storage.

If for any reason you are having difficulty or frustrated trying to turn your restaurant around, you may want to seek out a professional restaurant advisor to help you facilitate your policies and procedures. The restaurant consultant can also guide you in implementing quality training to help you make a profit.