We are going to talk today about one of the most important moments during a restaurant meal: welcoming customers and anticipating their needs.
These two factors are decisive in making customers want to come back to your restaurant and become regulars. On the other hand, if both are unsatisfactory, they can on the contrary immediately create a bad impression as soon as the threshold is crossed.
Take inspiration from our tips and ensure that your restaurant is always flawless. Get to work!
Understand your customers’ preferences
A digital database in which you can record and manage your customers’ preferences is the most effective tool to guarantee their satisfaction: you will be able to greet them by name when they arrive, assign them the table they like, take into account their food allergies or offer them your gluten-free dishes. Does your restaurant have a digital database? If not, click here to install TheFork Manager now .
Give your customers a personalized welcome
This database also allows you to define the profiles of the customers who visit you most often. You can include the dishes they prefer and create welcome protocols for each , without omitting any detail about their preferences. Remember that the needs of families with children are not the same as those of a young couple, a group of young professionals, millennial customers, or of course customers with reduced mobility. Each customer needs an attentive welcome and a service adapted to their expectations. It is therefore essential to offer personalized service at each meal.
Show empathy and be observant
Customers have emotional reactions, so room service must be attentive to their behavior and emotions in order to welcome and serve them according to their mood . Keep this fact in mind, as it will allow you to establish a more human relationship with your customers, and will ensure that your services run smoothly from the moment the first customer walks through the door.
Offer compensation if customers are forced to wait.
When they arrive, you don’t always have a table available and your customers will have to wait a bit. Waiting is a pivotal moment, it is the first impression that customers will have of your restaurant and it can have a positive or negative impact on the rest of the meal. In reality, it is often at this precise moment that the customer will decide whether or not he will return to your restaurant one day. So plan a comfortable space in the entrance, for example a bar area, and offer your customers delicious aperitifs to make the wait more pleasant. Also give them the restaurant wi-fi password so they can surf while waiting.
Send a satisfaction survey
To get to know your customers better, another tool allows you to anticipate their needs and wishes: the satisfaction survey sent after their visit. They will be able to describe their experience to you and you will be able to analyze their answers to improve their next visit. If you use TheFork Manager, you can send them the satisfaction survey from the database , by email or SMS. Our affiliated restaurants often use surveys, which are a very useful resource for adapting the offer and service and thus building customer loyalty over the long term.
Read reviews from your customers
To anticipate customer requests during their visit, read the comments posted on all the platforms on which you are present and systematically note remarks such as “it would be nice if the portions of this dish were larger”, “the music was way too loud”, “this dish lacked salt”, “there was no natural sweetener for my coffee”, etc., and put in place a protocol to make the necessary adjustments. The reviews of your restaurant published on TheFork and TripAdvisor are the ideal reference to find this information.
Take advantage of social networks
Ask questions in your Instagram stories about the service, but especially about the welcome received by your customers when they arrive at your establishment. You can develop creative questionnaires to get additional information, for example: “What is your idea of an ideal welcome in a restaurant?” by offering examples of quirky and humorous answers, combined with real information.
We hope that your customers feel happy in your restaurant, that your reception technique is impeccable and that you know how to correctly anticipate their needs. We hope that your customers feel happy in your restaurant, that your reception technique is impeccable and that you know how to correctly anticipate their needs.