7 Tips to Improve the Customer Experience in Your Restaurant

November 26, 2019

Written by the customer engagement experts at Paystone

 

It takes more than flavourful food and creative dishes to keep your restaurant in business.  Prioritizing customer experience is one of the most important factors to grow the success of your restaurant and keep your customers happy and coming back for more. 

In fact, 73% of customers feel that experience is an important factor when they’re deciding where to eat and where to shop, and 32% of customers would stop doing business with a brand after just one negative experience. 

But aside from the fact that giving a good customer experience is just good business, it can also be more profitable for you. Your customers will be more loyal and more willing to order add-ons, and they’ll also be willing to pay a premium. Specifically, a survey from PwC found that customers will pay 16% more for coffee and 12% more for dinner if it means they get a great experience.

 

 

Here are our tips to improve your customers’ experience at your restaurant:

1. Keep a happy team.

Creating a great customer experience starts with investing in your team’s happiness. Satisfied employees are more likely to have positive customer interactions and higher tip amounts.  They’re also more likely to stay with your business in the long term. This means you’ll have lower hiring and training costs, and your most senior employees will know the menu inside and out, so they’ll be better at upselling and offering recommendations to your customers. 

Read 10 Tips to Boost Employee Morale to learn more.

 

2. Offer online ordering and reservations.

Make it easy for your customers to find your menu and order online. In recent years, consumers have started to dine out more frequently. Being able to make reservations and place orders online makes life a lot easier for your customers and will keep them coming back.  

3. Revamp your space.

Updating your space and your furniture is important to shape your customers’ experience within your business. Think about who your ideal customers are and craft an ambience that they’ll want to come back to. This could include anything from unique Instagram-worthy décor to lots of comfortable seating and electrical outlets for laptops. (Don’t forget guest Wi-Fi!)

 

4. Master the art of customer service.

Whether you’re responding to an online review or serving customers in person, make sure you and your team have mastered the art of customer service. 

Be patient and attentive with your restaurant guests, offer recommendations and pairings if possible, and learn to upsell without being pushy. 

When it comes to online reviews, make sure that you’re responsive and thank customers for their feedback. If you get a negative review, stay calm and professional. Thank the customer for their feedback, apologize, and try to offer them a resolution. Even if you lose them as a customer, you’ll still have had the opportunity to publicly showcase your customer service. 

Learn how to ace your online business reviews.

5. Update and audit your menu.

Periodically review your menu to make sure that you’re keeping all of your customer favourites.

A POS app can help you track the popularity of each menu item so that you can decide how to best optimize your menu. Removing dishes that aren’t top-sellers can streamline your inventory, reduce food waste, and save your business time and money in the long-run. This means you’ll have more money to invest in improving your customer experience.

 

6. Give your customers some birthday cake.

People love personalized experiences and free food. What better way to enhance your customers’ experience than by giving them a special treat for their birthday?

Plus when your customers come back to claim their free birthday appetizer or dessert, they’ll likely bring an entourage of family and friends with them. They’ll get a great meal and a free birthday perk, and you’ll benefit from the added sales. 

7. Implement a loyalty program.

Finally, one of the best ways to improve your customer’s experience with your restaurant is to invest in customer engagement solutions and implement a loyalty program.

You’ll be able to gain insight into your members’ preferences, personalize and optimize your offers based on their spending habits, and grow your relationship with them. Ultimately, this will encourage your customers to return to your restaurant, spend more, and bring in more revenue to help your business grow.

Find out how Copper Branch grew its sales with a loyalty program.

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