First, it may seem counter-intuitive, but in order to make your customers happy, you should start by creating a welcoming environment for your employees. The manner and presentation of your employees makes a profound impression on your guests. Happy people are effusive. Assess the needs of your staff, and make it a top priority to provide an environment that is cheerful and welcoming.
Secondly, embrace the adage, “The customer is always right.” We all know there are difficult people in the world. It is a very human response to meet rudeness with rudeness; however, restaurants must operate above that level of interaction in order to stay afloat in the brutally competitive restaurant industry. One thing is true in our digital age: someone is always watching. There are some customers who cannot be pleased no matter what lengths you go to to ensure their satisfaction. However, it is not necessarily a defeat if a customer walks out of your restaurant in a huff, so long as your staff never dips below a high standard of integrity. You can be sure the other restaurant goers will be watching and taking note. And they will be impressed. These types of striking human interactions have the power to make loyal patrons.
Third, set high standards for the cleanliness of your restaurant. If a customer sees dirty dishes, tables, or floors, then that signals to them that this establishment does not take cleanliness seriously. Tables should be cleared as soon as a customer leaves. Floors must be cleaned regularly. All servers and cooks must adhere to the highest levels of hygiene and sanitation.
Lastly, and of singular importance, is the fact that you must have a strong digital media presence. A huge part of the customer experience is their digital impression of your restaurant. Websites are the modern day storefront. Do you not have a website? Is your website ugly or does it have limited interface? These are elements of a deal-breaking first impressions. Would you serve food in a building with broken windows and lousy plumbing? Obviously, no. Well, a poor digital presence is the modern equivalent. Your target customer is cash rich and time poor. It is essential that you streamline their experience by making it easy, familiar, and enjoyable. If you don’t, there are countless more who will.
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