Consumers are overwhelmed by the options available for them. In the competitive restaurant industry, it is vital to distinguish yourself from the competition. One of Maya Angelou’s most famous sayings goes,
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.“
Restaurants strive to make their guests feel at home in order to encourage loyalty. When they manage this, they can make guests feel safe and encourage them to return. If you don’t step up, others will.
Here are three subtle ways to make your guests feel at home:
Cleanliness is Attractive
An aesthetically pleasing and clean space encourages trust. Most guests don’t make a visit to the kitchen, so they base their judgments on your cleanliness by what they see in the dining area. There are certain hotspots that most guests typically notice. Be vigilant in these areas and you will earn your guests’ appreciation:
- Keep all windows spotless
- Never let a guest see a dirty or understocked bathroom
- Ensure your staff wears clean uniforms and aprons
- Purchase your linens and napkins in bulk to switch them out as needed
Some restaurants may not have the time to clean their linens, napkins, and aprons. If this happens, your restaurant can hire a restaurant laundry service to clean those items.
Hire Kind Waiters
If you want to make guests feel at home, you need the right staff. A kind waiter can make up for a lot of other insufficiencies. Nothing compares with a human interaction. Part of encouraging positivity from your staff is creating an environment in which they feel supported.
Lead by example. Encourage your waiters to smile, make eye contact, and talk with the guests as needed by exemplifying these practices with the staff as well as the clients. If you treat your team poorly, that unfair treatment will inevitably trickle down to your guests.
It is also important to adjust one’s approach based on how the people react. For example, if a guest likes to talk, chatting with them could leave a great impression. On the other hand, if a guest seems reserved, your waiters shouldn’t be too pushy.
Focus on Comfort
You should also make the restaurant as comfortable as possible. There are certain simple touches which take comfortability to the next level.
- Pick chairs with ample cushioning
- Make the restaurant a good temperature based on the season
- Choose ambient music to avoid anything loud or irritating
- Provide warm cloths for hand cleaning
These practices trigger relaxation, which is the state you want your guests to be in.
You can make them feel physically comfortable through the chairs and temperature. The kind waiters and music choice can help them feel mentally and emotionally comfortable. Make sure you focus on all these parts to reach as many people as possible.
When guests feel at home in your restaurant, they create ties to the sensations and experiences they have there. This engenders loyalty.
Make sure to review the tips above for inspiration on ways your restaurant can feel like a home away from home.