These four things are hurting your restaurant in 2017
Building lasting relationships with your guests is one of the keys in building a sustainable long-term restaurant business. Part of that is not making the guests feel alienated. Stop doing these four things that keep guests from feeling like not coming back to your restaurant.
1) Not greeting upon arrival or thanking them when they leave
First impressions are everything. The first step in creating a recurring customer is greeting them professionally and courteously. A proper greeting is key in making the guest feel like they are welcome, and that they are appreciated. Be thankful that they chose to visit your restaurant, since they have hundreds of other options, but they chose to dine with you.
Just as important as the greeting, the goodbye is key in building a relationship with the customer. The guest just had an experience with you, and you need to thank them once again for choosing your restaurant. When you have guests at your house, you greet them with enthusiasm, and you send them off with affection and thankfulness…making the customer feel like they are eating at your house is what should be thinking of.
2) Over-promising and Under-delivering
We can get into the psychology of waiting if you really want to, but we will keep it light this time. If you quote a guest a 15 minute wait, you better do everything within your power to seat them within 10 minutes. What? Why not 15 minutes? Was that a typo? No…absolutely not. The concept of Under-promising and Over-delivering needs to be part of your front of house strategy.
When a guest is quoted 15 minutes, and it takes 10 minutes to seat them, they are pleasantly surprised, and are in a good mood, and thus, they tend to spend more.
When a guest is quoted 10 minutes and it takes 15 minutes to seat them, they are agitated, annoyed, and pissed off. You do not want pissed off guests.
3) Trapping your guests
When you are privileged enough to have a full house, first off, congratulations, secondly, is to make sure that the guests that are waiting do not feel trapped. How do you trap customers? By giving them a buzzer pager and telling them they can’t go past the patio or they won’t get a table. The best and easiest solution to this is to get rid of those germ infested buzzer pagers and get a text-message powered wait-list solution such as Diner Connection. Not only does it lest guests walk around to local businesses, building the economy around your restaurant, but it gives you the ability to have a two-way communication with your guests before they sit in your restaurant. The best of both worlds, letting them have freedom, while still being able to let them know when their table is ready.
4) Not having a conversation with your guests
Social media is a two-way communication platform. This includes Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, Instagram, etc. When guests comment, you need to reply. When a guest asks to speak with a manager during an in-person visit, there is no-way that you would deny them that. The same should go for social media. It is easy to make guests feel alienated on social media, and you shouldn’t fall into that trap. You can just set up the accounts and walk away, they require attention just as your restaurant does, because it is a part of your restaurant, and you should treat it that way.
Make the best impression on your guests that you can, and use the easiest wait-list solution available. Try Diner Connection free for 30 days, by clicking here and registering for an account (no credit card required).