Running a restaurant appeals to those who enjoy giving people an excellent eating experience, but their plans can be spoiled by fickle diners everywhere. Customers may be looking for something new or constantly demanding things you can’t give them. It takes a lot to make it in the restaurant world, and many establishments just can’t seem to get the traction they need to survive.
To ensure you continue to thrive, try these 5 tips to keep your customers happy.
1. Go Above and Beyond
Just like listening, this is going to be a tough job to do. One famous story to remember comes from the customer service giant Zappos. At one point the CEO performed a little prank on his employees, and called to order a pizza as a regular customer of a company that sold shoes online. Not only was the employee happy to order him a pizza, but they were also ready to chat with him about whatever it was he wanted to chat about. Whether it’s offering private luxury airport car service or just a helping hand with a customer’s diaper bag, there’s a lot you can do to make an impression.
2. Use Checklists
Checklist templates help servers and kitchen workers figure out what to do and when. Help them keep a schedule and their sanity by implementing them so everyone has clear expectations for their jobs. The key here is to enforce the rules as checklists may go ignored by employees who don’t take them seriously.
3. Listen Hard
When your busboy calls in late and your best server sprains their ankle on the job after breaking a full tray of glasses, you probably don’t want to hear about how a customer had better fried chicken down the road. You may not even want to hear about it at the end of the night when you read through all the Yelp reviews. However, as hard as it can be sometimes, this is a habit that needs to be ingrained in you. Even for people with naturally friendly dispositions, it can take plenty of practice. You have to remember just how much it will pay off in the long run.
4. Treat Your Staff Well
Your staff is an extension of you, and if employees are unhappy then your customers will be unhappy. When workers feel satisfied in their jobs, that will come across to your customers in the form of friendlier smiles and well-placed attention. Take the time to see that your staff’s needs are being met, and do your best to help them when you can. Use the interview process as a tool to hire those who are most committed to your cause.
5. Say Yes
Making exceptions for customers will seem like a double-edged sword, but say no enough and people will remember you as inflexible. If someone is asking you for a bit of a favor, then you may win more business by agreeing rather than turning them away.