Customer service is one of the most important elements in driving repeat business at your restaurant. If your wait staff doesn’t provide a positive dining experience for your guests, it doesn’t matter how amazing your food is - you may lose that customer. Training your staff from day one is critical to the success of your restaurant and will guarantee that everyone who walks into your restaurant feels special.
Formalize your training program and make sure that your entire staff follows those guidelines. Below are a few simple practices for your staff to adopt that can make the difference between a loyal customer and a one-time diner.
Greet everyone – Make it mandatory to greet all guests verbally and with a smile as soon as they walk in the door.
Introduce yourself by name – Even busy servers need to acknowledge a new table by stopping by to introduce themselves. It makes the guest feel welcome and demonstrates that you are responsive to their needs.
Communicate with other employees – Customer service is a team effort and not only the responsibility of the server or cashier, but the kitchen staff, bussers and managers.
Know the menu – If staff can't easily answer questions about menu items, they are providing a negative impression about themselves and your restaurant.
Serve hot food immediately – Cold food or a long wait leads to unhappy customers. Make it a priority to get hot food delivered quickly to ensure customer satisfaction.
Check orders before serving – It’s important that your wait staff and counter help double-check the food before they deliver the order. Train your staff to first communicate orders correctly and then to check each plate before it goes out.
Start selling – Taking an order is much easier than “selling” a menu item, but your customers expect their server to provide suggestions to improve their dining experience.
Take care of the basics – Everything from empty napkin dispensers, wet tables, full trash cans, and uneven tables can create negative impressions for your guests. Make sure your staff is trained to pay attention to the smallest details that contribute to the overall dining experience.
Your servers represent you and your business. Make sure that they are communicating your brand story with consistent, excellent customer service by providing them with ongoing training and support.