Customer service doesn’t start when a customer enters the door, it begins the first moment a customer visits a website or calls a restaurant. It takes months, sometimes years, to build a relationship with a customer, and only moments to damage it. Bad customer service is one of the quickest ways to send customers running to your competition. Keep things simple and amicable by avoiding these major customer service barriers.
Diners visit restaurants for countless reasons. Let’s list a few: For a meal. For a drink. For celebration. For convenience. For business. For pleasure. For comfort. For excitement. Understanding why your customers reserve a table with you is key to operating a successful restaurant longterm. Understanding your customer’s intentions is also key to running a great wine program. What wines are they ordering, and why? Whether customers are seeking high value and familiar options, or are crossing their fingers for a delightful surprise from a niche selection, it’s important your wine choices reflect your guests’ expectations.
But no matter the substance of your wine list, educating your guest at the table is how you guide and tailor their expectations. A good restaurant will guide their guests to make the best choices, whatever those choices may be. Read more
Private clubs are changing throughout the country. Whether it’s augmenting club policies in regards to technology, or relaxing rules and guidelines to accommodate families, clubs are changing in response to shifting member demographics and interests. As a club manager, how do you address these changes? What methods can you use to assess and identify the areas of your club that you need to change and improve, and which areas should continue on undisturbed? Read more
After the recession hit in 2007, private clubs had to push through a turbulent economic period worsened by membership decline. The past few years have marked a rebounding period for clubs across the country. Club economics have started to stabilize. But membership interests have drifted from the golf course into new leisure areas. New technologies have helped bridge the gap between changing demographics and more effective club management. As club managers assess what the future looks like for their businesses, tech companies whose focus is hospitality aim to make that future user-friendly. Read more
The free drink is an apocryphal tenet of bartending. The comped shot, or buy back, should never be given away willy nilly by a bartender. It also shouldn’t be expected by a customer. But, if used properly, that privileged dram can be a powerful tool for rewarding loyal patronage. The danger of the free drink is if this privilege gets abused. Restaurant operators can’t have their employees giving away the bar, and bartenders shouldn’t rely on comped drinks in lieu of good service. But, if exhibited with finesse, a drink on-the-house can be a tradition both time honored and beneficial to all parties. And a party it is. But, as a restaurant operator, how should you go about enforcing a policy that keeps bartenders honest while also giving them the ability to show love for a well-liked patron?
Customer experience can make or break a restaurant. That’s always been the case. But in todays world of social media, word travels at hyper-speed. You don’t want your restaurant’s reputation to be shredded by an angst-fueled Yelper with a bone to pick over bad service. There are a few easy steps to follow when it comes to customer service. These are guidelines to great service. You should implore your service staff to remember these tips. Trust me, your guests will care more about these things than they do the Saturday night fish special. Read more
Yelp is a polarizing third-party platform for many small business owners. The Internet has become the go-to medium for most consumer research. If you’re a business owner, it’s increasingly likely that a potential customer’s first introduction to your business will be in a list of Google search results, and your businesses’ Yelp page is bound to be at the top.
Is your customer service less than extraordinary? You want to fix that, now. I know that I harp on a bit about good customer service techniques, but the truth is that you have too much competition in the food and beverage industry to fail in even one aspect of your business. Here are two customer service failures, as well as advice about how you can avoid them in your own business.
Running a restaurant is hard work. You have to plan meals, stock inventory, maintain supplies and licensure, manage staffing issues, and, oh yeah, cook amazing food. With all this craziness going on every single day, it’s not surprising that your restaurant might be forgetting to do something, even something incredibly important. If you look around your restaurant and notice any of the following things happening, you’ll need to switch your focus. Fast. Here are ten signs that your customer service is a total disaster.
It’s every bar owner’s greatest nightmare. You’ve fought to get your customers, you’ve figured out exactly what they like and you’ve made your bar a great place to hang out… and then a new bar moves in down the street and tries to actively steal your customers away from you. Bar competition is fierce and can sometimes destroy good neighborhood bars whose owners have taken years to establish a solid customer base. If you should happen to find yourself in this position, make sure to follow these three secrets to overcoming bar competition and you’ll end up fine. Read more