Every business owner in the world acknowledges the fact that their business is nothing without customers. It’s common for customers to leave a business without having the best experience.
The reason for my last bad business experience was a poor Internet connection. This had me survey several ISPs and at last, I settled for Optimum Internet plans.
Among the many businesses that are hard to kickstart successfully is a restaurant business. Opening a restaurant and keeping customers coming back for more is not everyone’s cup of tea. Let me introduce you to some surefire ways of leaving smiles on the faces of your customers.
1: Offer Them Discounts and Special Deals
Those who enjoy dining out do so not just for the love of food but because of affordable food options. If you can’t sell your menu at a low price, offer attractive discounts. This will bring you more business. When customers enjoy the food and experience, they come back again.
2: Always Have a Fixed Menu
There must be fixed food items on your menu. A lunchtime fixed menu is a good example. This way, you don’t have to cook a large range of meals. Simply put the most requested dishes in the fixed menu with appealing prices.
3: Use Integrated Payment
Customers don’t always dine in with cash in their pockets. They use credit cards, debits and other integrated payment options to pay their bill. Don’t drive your customers away by accepting cash only. Offer integrated payments to make your restaurant more accessible. Don’t forget contactless payment systems like Android Pay or Apple Pay. These payment options will increase the efficiency of your restaurant business a well.
4: Offer Online Bookings
Customers these days want ease. Chances are they are searching for a restaurant that lets them make advance online reservations. Gone are the days of making a reservation on the phone. It’s somewhat frustrating because calls don’t get answered.
Online books also avoid human error in writing down the part’s number, book time, and other special arrangements. Having to visit the website to make a booking means the customer will get a chance to explore more information on your website such as special offers.
5: Turn a Bad Experience Around
Customer disputes are a part of the business. No restaurant can claim they didn’t encounter customer disputes. It’s best to have a policy to handle the dispute as quickly as possible. Your customers will leave happily if the problem is resolved with an acceptable solution.
To turn around a bad experience, your staff must be trained in handling disputes. Common problems include slow service, undercooked meat, cold steal, etc. Take responsibility for the problem and put in the effort to solve it. The way you handle the situation could win the customer.
Offer something free either in the form of an immediate free meal or a gift certification. Of course, initially, you will be incurring the cost, but it’s repaid if the customer comes back again. Plus, they will spread good words about your service.
6: Train Your Staff to Be Friendly
Provide training to your staff on improving customer service. Great service begins from the moment a customer enters your restaurant and minute the leave. Train your staff some of the following customer service techniques:
- Staff must smile at all times
- Train them to speak with respect using tiles such as miss or sir
- Encourage them to keep personal conversations at the back rooms only
- Train them how to properly set the dishes and clear them when the diners are done
- Staff should never rush the guests to place the order or leave the table
7: Strive For a Connection
Train your staff to go the extra mile for making a connection with the diners. Greet them by their name. Don’t know their name? No worries. At the time of introducing themselves, ask your customers their names. Next time they return, greet them with their name. This shows you made an effort to remember them.
Customers are happy to dine at a place where everyone knows their names. When they leave, thank them with sincerity. We are dealing with millennial customers who demand connection. They like to get acknowledged and feel appreciated. When your staff puts effort to connect with their customers, it not only makes them happy but increases sales.
8: Create an Outlet for Feedback
Give your customers the power and they are likely to return. Any feedback customers provide you with is a genuine idea to improve your business and enhance the customer experience. The best way to seek feedback is to provide printed survey sheets. Hand them over with the bill. You may also use third-party services such as TripAdvisor for online reviews.
Some unhappy customers don’t complain, they simply leave and never return. Give these unhappy customers an outlet to complain about. Acknowledge their grief and offer them a solution. This may prevent you from losing vital customers.
It’s always easier to spend extra bucks and time to make the existing diners happy than to attract new ones. Don’t forget that customers have plenty of other restaurants to switch to. I had plenty of options in ISPs (such as Spectrum Internet Only) too when I was planning to switch. Had my Internet provider taken extra care to meet my needs, I would have stuck around. The same thing applies to any other business out there.