Customer Service in the Food and Beverage Industry – Images by Andrea Piacquadio in Pexels
Great drinks, great food served fast in a warm, fun atmosphere is the end-all and be-all of phenomenal restaurant operations. Customer service is the helping hand and advice you provide your diners. It is a perfect blend of sincere attention and effective communication bestowed upon your clientele when they visit and dine in your place of business. The primary reaction we would want from our guests the first time is frequency. Guests need to be satisfied and happy, so they patronize you. The loyal customers are the integral cog that is well-oiled in a successful restaurant business. Businesses thrive because of loyalists; these fans, in turn, rave about you, and new faces will try you out. The process goes on and on.
Here are essential tips to ensure that customer service is remarkable in your shop.
Hook them from the start
The adage, first impressions last is true in the food and beverage world. Food quality is as important as the entire customer journey. The diners must feel care and the sheer intent to serve from your staff. The moment they walk in and from the time they pay and leave, the experience must be seamless. Here are a few rules to follow.
Warmly greet your guests
- Be professional in addressing them like miss, sir, and ma’am
- Never interrupt, let them finish their sentences
- Maintain eye contact, listen with the intent to serve
- Be well versed with your product, nothing is more annoying than a server who does not know anything about the food
- Anticipate guests’ needs from timely bussing out, delivery of secondary service wares, refills, table maintenance, and readiness to present the bill
The waiting game
Never make your customers wait. The ticket time must be short for both food and drinks. They should never be hungry. If there will be unforeseen delays, make sure the guests are informed. Ensure that the waiters’ station is prepared for success. Everything you need for the customers should be within your reach. Like a hamburger stand and fully stocked fitted wardrobes, when the shift opens, service wares, plate ware, flatware, your smile, and good attitude must be complete in your arsenal. A fitted wardrobe is a custom-design storage cabinet that can house anything and everything. Compartments are an integral part of the design to classify and segregate clothing, garments, and accessories to fit your lifestyle.
All must be accessible. The staff and manager must be forthcoming and informative.
Fix problems immediately
There is no perfect shift, but the finesse to handle complaints and mishaps is something you acquire over time. A rule of thumb is the acronym L.A.S.T. Listen to the problem, apologize even if you disagree, then solve the problem and thank the guest.
Most loyalists are those guests who care about you too much and give you a chance to be better. They are a gold mine. Exceptionally effective restaurants value feedback — the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between.
Satisfied guests are an integral part of an effective restaurant business model. A happy customer would visit you weekly and will continue to patronize you for years. They also talk good about you through word of mouth and bring in guests as well for you to convert them to loyalists. The number one reason that guests abandon a brand is poor food quality and rude customer service as well.