Frequency and touch point service
Too much attention at the table not enough, it can be a fine line sometimes for a waiter at the table. They need to have impeccable timing and be able to pick up the mood and purpose of the diners but these are just some of the skills that are needed for a successful waiter, throw in description, purpose, ability to work at speed and intuition there is a lot going on. What are the some touch points that we can employ to ensure a happy customer.
Like any good story building a relationship with a guest starts at the beginning the initial interaction from the website to booking and or meeting and welcoming a perspective guest at the menu board to clean a buzzing dining environment.
These are all points that the guest judges before they walk through your door. But the customer also tells a story and we should be perceptive enough to read theirs and be able to approach dealing with them on a level that makes them comfortable.
What are the signs we can see are they having a business meeting are they a table of lunch ladies catching up, first daters? They all tell a different story and can require a different approach to looking after them, a variation on delivery of your system.
Checking in with the guest
Cafes and Restaurants like other workplaces are created with a mix of capabilities and skills and to ensure that we can operate successful we need to put systems in place to make service seamless. Do you have a sequence of service HYPERLINK. Part of your sequence of service should be that your waiter attends the table throughout service and looks for opportunities to generate a higher spend per head and that they ensure the guest is happy with everything and by checking in on the guest we have gained the opportunity to either enhance the guests experience or to take corrective action to fix an issue.
Some of this can be checked off within 3 minute checks after food delivery and by the staff not only verbally checking with the guest but also scanning the dish and the table to ensure that the guest is happy but also that what they are saying matches up to what the dish is saying to you. I have looked after too many tables where after checking in with the table and after being told that everything is lovely to scan the dish and see a different story, more often than not i have found if i have a discreet word with the guest i can find out the issue and offer a solution. The last thing any Cafe/Restaurant needs is a guest walking quietly away saying everything was fine but at their heart disappointed. It is in our best interest to ensure that our 3 minute touch point takes in the whole experience of the guest and look for clues that the guest who is too embarrassed or don’t want to cause a scene can show.
Follow up and Farewell
When dealing with an issue with a guest the follow up on your agreed course of action is of major importance for example Table 19 steak was overcooked and you had agreed to replace with a properly cooked steak. Customers are generally happier if you can fix an issue straight away as long as you deliver what you said you would. Yet again this is another point to check with the guest and can be used to turn a frustrated guest into a happy one. Throughout the check ins with the guest these are all perfect opportunity to build relationships i found out quite early in my career working on the floor of Cafes and Restaurants that the host is far more likely to forgive and help you with a table if you the waiter is seen as friendly and of good value in terms of either entertaining the guests and or providing great service beyond their expectations.
Farewelling the guest is often the last opportunity you have to impress the guest this gives you the chance to build relationships staff and management make the effort to get to the door and thank them for choosing you.
Next time you take a booking or walk into you establishment take the time to look or hear what your customer does. Are you creating the best first impression, is your team following a set service routine – does it need tightening it up. Is your staff either trained or aware the subtle details that make your business.