Do you think that quality restaurants appear overnight? The truth is that they take a lot of hard work and effort to create. If you are in the business, you need to understand just how hard it is to take a good establishment to the next level. Otherwise, your restaurant may never create the buzz that you need for success.
There are several areas that you can improve to find the extra five percent, but the main one is the service. The service that you provide is just as important as the food that you put on the plates. After all, no one will go back to an eatery with bad service. How many times have you been to a restaurant and vowed never to go back for that reason? If you want to succeed, you need to focus on wowing your customers, and it starts with the service.
Write Down Your Service Guidelines
The first thing on your list is to create a set of guidelines. This isn’t difficult because you only need to imagine what you want from your service. However, you need to write it down when you have it in your mind’s eye. If you don’t, you will lose sight of what you are trying to achieve. Think of your guidelines as your tactics, and what successful sports team doesn’t have an array of tactics at their disposal? When you write them down, your staff can go back and forth and reference them so that they know what you expect.
Do The Basics Well
The best restaurants focus on the basics to begin with and then move onto the bigger issues. For example, you won’t get anywhere in the industry if you don’t follow the health and safety regulations. Health and safety are a legal requirement for any restaurant because it ensures the cleanliness of the food that you prepare. For those that are unsure, the duty of care guidelines by Peninsula Group is a good place to start. If you can’t do the basics, you can’t move onto the next level of service.
Focus On The Small Things
Once you have the basics under control, take a look at the small things that affect a customer’s service. The simple fact is that you can provide a very decent service, but it still lacks that final quality. That final quality is something that is not a big deal to you, but that makes all the difference to the customer. Free breadsticks are a good example. While a customer waits for their food, they want something to snack on so that they don’t go hungry. Or, a greeter at the front desk who accompanies people to their table gives a luxurious feel to the experience. Both of this cost you very little, but they bring a lot of rewards.
Give Your Team The Right Tools
A bad worker blames their tools isn’t necessarily true. In fact, it’s wrong if the worker doesn’t have the right tools. You can’t expect your service team to produce quality if they don’t have the tools because the tools are essential. Every restaurant runs low on inventory from time to time – that’s an occupational hazard of the job. But, great restaurants don’t have problems with basic equipment. Always make sure that you have enough cutlery, food and drink to go around on any given night. When you don’t, your employees will cut corners or have to make excuses. And, that is when the service starts to go down the drain.
Invest In Training
As far as you are concerned, training is your best friend. Training courses will take your service from the bottom of the ladder straight to the top. Think of training as a form of education that teaches your staff how to become better at their job. You, or a professional trainer, will teach them how to act, stand, and even speak to make the experience more memorable. Never assume that the people you hire are the finished article. In business, no one is complete, which means there is always room for improvement.
Don’t Smother Your Guests
It is important to remember that good service is subtle. Waiters and waitresses that constantly smother their guests are annoying. And, annoying isn’t good because it evokes strong emotions. A customer will decide not to return if they can’t stand the thought of the service team always hovering around. With this in mind, you need to tell your staff that they should be seen and not heard. A good waiter stands in the background and surveys the table. If they need something, your employees should go over and ask if they need assistance. If they don’t, they should leave them alone.
Hire The Right People
Hiring is a big factor for any business because you don’t want to hire a fool. Still, that doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes from time to time. The key to negating those mistakes is to look past their CV and into their personality. Yes, they may have the experience, but do they have the skills for hospitality? You are looking for people that have a professional manner and who are polite at all times. Plus, you also want a hard worker because hospitality is a fast moving environment. Sometimes, the best candidates are the ones that don’t have a sparkling CV.
Offer The Right Incentives
Your employees aren’t working all hours God sends for the good of the company. They are doing it for the incentives, which is usually the money. Don’t class that as a problem because it is an opportunity. If you can find the right incentives, you can encourage them to work harder and improve. The obvious example is a financial incentive, but there are others. You may, for instance, give them flexible working hours so that they can have a social life. A good work to life balance is just as important as a wage packet.
The final thing you must remember is that it doesn’t happen overnight as improving your hospitality is a long process. If you don’t have the patience, you won’t succeed.