Six Ways to Serve Up an Unforgettable Customer Service
4 Min Read By Michael Landry
Modern consumer needs have greatly evolved. Client satisfaction no longer solely depends on the actual purchase of goods. Instead, consumers want to be wowed by an exceptional dining experience. This is especially true of Millennials, who tend to seek authentic, memorable culinary adventures that supply unique, exciting, and shareable moments. As such, restaurateurs need to adapt to these expectations. Gone are pretentious upscale venues. To impress today’s clientele, food service professionals must craft a mind-blowing adventure that impacts more than just the taste buds.
With little growth in the restaurant sector, and a changing consumer mentality, food service professionals need to incorporate new methods that will create a stimulating and engaging environment to increase sales and drive customer loyalty.
To provide an unforgettable culinary experience, restaurateurs need to stay abreast of current trends and mainstream culture. The foodie movement is a powerful force that is transforming the restaurant industry. With little growth in the restaurant sector, and a changing consumer mentality, food service professionals need to incorporate new methods that will create a stimulating and engaging environment to increase sales and drive customer loyalty.
The following six strategies will help design an unforgettable customer experience that will leave guests wanting more.
In an age of technology, human connection still matters. A positive dining experience cannot exist without this very crucial component. The best way to build connection and strengthen customer engagement is by hiring knowledgeable staff who are trained in multiple communication approaches. Staff members must do more than memorize the daily specials, they must establish a meaningful rapport with diners, actively working to resolve issues such as lengthy wait times or meal disappointments, and accommodate needs such as dietary restrictions and allergies.
Restaurant servers who genuinely care about their diners’ experience will demonstrate it with the right words and actions, helping to increase customer satisfaction. And just as ambiance helps set the right mood, so does a staff member’s personality. Lively interactions bring positive energy to the entire dining experience, so team members should be encouraged to let their charm and enthusiasm shine.
Comfort is synonymous with satisfaction. Guests who feel at home in an establishment are more likely to return with friends and family. To accomplish this, restaurateurs should personalize their consumer experience. To start, staff members should be trained to greet guests by name, with a warm smile. Hosts can even go one step further by recalling details from a previous visit, such as a drink order, and act accordingly. These extra touches can go a long way, making customers feel valued and appreciated.
Personalization strategies can also be implemented outside the restaurant environment, through extra gestures such as birthday emails with special offers. The use of digital receipts also allows restaurant professionals to send special, personalized offers to loyal customers, helping to solidify the existing bond. When it comes to customization methods, the options are many. It’s up to each restaurant brand owner to decide what will work best for his or her establishment.
A successful brand needs to incorporate a story. The restaurant industry is no exception to this growing consumer demand. Modern customers want to feel a deep connection with the brand they are supporting. The right story will convey a brand’s uniqueness and authenticity as well as its ability to supply a culinary adventure that dazzles. Restaurant owners must deliver a carefully crafted dining ambience that makes their eccentricities shine.
Whether it’s an establishment’s quirky décor or special lighting, restaurateurs need to highlight the unique characteristics that will make customers take notice. Some proprietors have taken this concept to a whole new level with DIY dining or tables built on swings. Whatever the idea, the key is for restaurant owners to create an experience that consumers won’t soon forget. Bold innovations and experimentation are welcome. Some restaurateurs are bending traditional boundaries by setting up aggressively sustainable eateries, or community cafés that offer suggested pricing to help feed the hungry.
Food Design That Thrills
Artistry is an essential element to the creation of a mind-blowing culinary adventure. Food presentation must stimulate all the senses. Since social media platforms such as Instagram play a large role in producing desirable user-generated content, it’s imperative for food service professionals to develop visually appealing dishes that will be shared online.
Incorporating visual or auditory enhancements to food dishes, such as gold leaves, unusual colors, flower petals or explosion cake designs, is a surefire way to awe consumers and satisfy their cravings for a unique and thrilling dining experience—just as long as the food also tastes great!
Technology has the capacity to turn a satisfactory customer experience into a fantastic one. Intuitive software can help staff members streamline services, which in turn enhances the dining experience. World Class POS systems help reduce lineups, eliminate order errors, facilitate communication with kitchen staff, and improve the payment process. Likewise, existing applications can enable customers to make reservations and place takeaway orders with increased ease and convenience.
Technology can also help create a perfect “immersive dining” event. An increasing number of restaurants are featuring interactive events that transcend the traditional culinary experience. Through theatrical performances, stories, lights and soundscapes, the dining concept can be elevated to a whole new level, supplying delightful entertainment and much-needed escapism.
Create a Destination
The creation of an authentic and culturally-rich eating space is an effective method that can help restaurateurs stand out from the competition. Today’s consumers want to be swept away. Through the efficient use of space and flavors, restaurant owners can craft an experience that meets modern demands for a gratifying and enjoyable environment. Whatever the concept—from pure elegance to urban grit—each element must be brought together in a cohesive manner.
A poorly executed concept will confuse and frustrate customers, so it’s important to get this right. Destination concepts can be achieved in several ways. A charming garden courtyard, for instance, can create a sense of longing and nostalgia, invoking memories of a past trip or future dream. No matter the idea, it’s important to note that the most successful destination concepts should enhance a local flavor rather than overpower it.