Over the past few years, the pandemic has caused an uproar and massive changes to the dining experience as we knew it in 2019. With the pandemic coming to an end, people are finally starting to get back to the “regular” dining experience at sit-down restaurants. However, the dining experience isn’t the same as it used to be, and your restaurant may have experienced a hit over the course of the pandemic. That means it’s the perfect time to regroup and look at your restaurant as a whole, deciding where you can improve certain aspects to ensure that your returning customers have the best experience possible. Here are a few easy ways to improve, to get you started.
1. Redesign Your Menus
If you haven’t updated your menus in a while, it might be time for a redesign. While QR codes and contactless menus were popular during the pandemic, many people miss the feel of a physical menu in their hands. To best ensure that all types of customers get the experience they want, take a hybrid approach and offer both physical and contactless menus, allowing customers to choose which they prefer.
Update both your digital and physical menus to reflect any changes you’ve made to your menu options, and use this as an opportunity to upgrade your brand image if needed. Take a step back and look at your marketing materials as a whole. Do they feel consistent, unique, and meaningful? If not, it might be time for something new.
2. Improve the Atmosphere
Atmosphere plays a huge role in the dining experience. To craft the perfect atmosphere, you’ll want to look at your customers. Why do people choose to come to your restaurant? Are they celebrating anything? Do they come with family and friends, or do they come on date night? All of this information will help you craft the perfect atmosphere. For example, if many of your customers come out for date night, you’ll want to craft a more romantic atmosphere. If you have guests that like to chat with friends or family throughout the night, a cozier, intimate atmosphere might fit better.
When thinking about atmosphere, you’ll want to consider things like music, server attire, and even seating arrangements. Since most restaurants have been closed down or at half capacity for the past two years, these might be elements you need to reconsider and redesign.
3. Frequently Train Your Staff
The dining experience is only as good as the service offered. If you go out to dinner and the service is sub-par, you’re probably not going to return to that restaurant, right? However, if you go out to a five-star restaurant and your server gives you the best recommendations, helps when you need it, and is there to offer engaging small talk at the right moments, you’re more than likely going to have an enjoyable experience.
To ensure that your guests get to experience that same cultivated experience led by an excellent server, provide frequent training for your servers and hosts. Make sure they’re up to date on the menus, wines, and more, so they’re able to provide proper recommendations and explain all elements of the menu. You can also offer incentives to your staff to encourage upselling. By having a well-trained staff, you’ll be able to offer a cultivated experience that your guests will never forget, whether you run a small diner or an upscale dining establishment.
Upgrade Your Restaurant to Improve Your Guests’ Experience
Now that you’ve learned just a few ways to upgrade your restaurant and improve your guests’ experience, it’s time to put these tips into action. However, you don’t have to stop here. Take a deep look into your restaurant and analyze what could be upgraded or changed in order to provide guests with the ultimate dining experience and run with it.
Whether you need to make a few small changes or a lot of big ones, it’ll be worth it in the end.