4 Cost-effective Ways to Improve Customer Experience at Your Restaurant

You’ve heard the well-known phrase, “the customer is king.” This popular saying shows the perspective business owners should always take, especially in the service industry. Without customers purchasing your products or services, you wouldn’t have a company to run. Treating customers like royalty translates into respecting their wishes and preferences even when you, as the business owner, don’t agree with them. 

It will be your immense benefit as a restaurant owner to ensure all your customers enjoy the best possible experience. 

1. Proper Employee Training

Your staff will be interacting and engaging with your customers all day. Even before patrons sit down to eat, your employees will give them their first taste of the restaurant. With this in mind, it’s essential you invest in your staff’s rigorous training to reinforce the importance of giving the customer a positive experience from the get-go. Training ensures all employees are fully aware of your restaurant’s customer service standards and work to live up to them daily. 

During the training, emphasis should be given to politeness during all interactions. Customers should always be greeted with a warm smile, and servers should anticipate and meet their needs. Your servers should, for instance, keep an eye out for when glasses are getting low and ask the customer if they would like a top-off.

2. Optimize the POS Experience

Point-of-sale systems have evolved beyond basic payment automation. Today’s advanced food tech POS software combines numerous functionalities to improve customer experience in many different ways. 

Ease of ordering: By implementing a tablet POS, your customers don’t have to try and catch a server’s eye as they are attending to other customers so that they can place their orders. They can retrieve the restaurant’s menu online and go ahead and make their selection from their device. In some cases, this order is transmitted directly to the kitchen, reducing the overall order processing time. 

Besides reducing the time taken during the ordering process, a POS will consolidate the order’s chances of being processed erroneously. This will lead to increased customer satisfaction. 

Customer data: Your POS can also serve as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or interface with your existing one to retrieve and process data on customer habits. Based on information collected over multiple visits, you can entice customers with options for add-ons to their meals that will appeal to their palate. You can also use the data to recommend other menu items that you’re sure they will like. Communication of offers you may be having will be better targeted using such data.

3. Clean Often

Keeping your restaurant clean will not only put you in the Health Department’s good books; it will help you create the right impression on dinners coming through your doors. And when it comes to cleanliness, it’s best to go all out. Over and above dusting tabletops and regularly mopping the floor, you need to remove dust from your window sills and other similarly oft-neglected areas. Also, ensure your menus are free from smudges and sauce stains. Be careful not to overlook salt and pepper shakers, POS touchscreens, can openers, etc. as well. 

The cleanliness should be extended into the places the food is coming from and, more crucially, your bathrooms. Effectively keeping tabs on all these cleaning requirements will be almost impossible unless you have a cleaning plan. It will help ensure cleaning tasks are well delegated, and every member of your staff knows what they’re responsible for and by what time they should do their part.

4. Handle Complaints Well

Handling complaints is an unavoidable part of running a restaurant. Learn to see complaints as your customers, giving you a chance to fix something that’s not right; a chance to reclaim business you potentially could have lost. 

Remember the following whenever your customers raise a complaint:

  • Listen to the customer with an open mind. Don’t let pride impede you from getting to understand the problem.
  • Apologize and thank the customer for bringing up the issue.
  • Own the problem and resolve it as quickly as you can.
  • Share the issue with all staff so that they know how to handle such situations.

Customer First

To offer your customer a great experience, put them at the heart of every decision you make. Thankfully, advances in technology are making it possible not just to meet their needs more effectively but to anticipate them more accurately.