The hospitality industry can be very fickle. You have to do everything right most of the time, or you or you may face bankruptcy and closure. This shouldn’t discourage you though, for there are many restaurants in the Middle East region that have overcome the storm and have been reaping for years. You may be wondering what you would have to do for your restaurant to succeed. Well, for sure you’ve seen restaurants that were opened but barely lasted a year in business. It can be discouraging thinking about such, especially if you’re planning on starting your restaurant. Most times, there are a variety of things that successful restaurant management does that sets them apart from the failures. These restaurant success stories all have a few things in common:
1. A great environment
The environment should complement the food you serve and the clients you attract. An upscale place could have dim lights, soft ambient music and expensive decor. If you offer family-friendly foods, you should consider having a colourful and exciting furnishing. Whatever concept you decide for your F&B business, always remember that your ultimate goal is to impress your customers, not to distract them with unnecessary or irrelevant decorative pieces. Read our blog on Restaurant Design Mistakes to learn more.
2. Well-cooked and Sumptuous food
Fresh, high quality and properly prepared food is another significant factor, if not the most important one, for a restaurant’s success. Always ensure that what goes on your customer’s table is something that you and your staff can be proud of. Be consistent on the portion, cook and most especially on the taste to make your customers come back for more.
3. Excellent customer service
Customers will always come back if the service they received is superb – from quality food to the friendly or helpful staff. Hiring a competent restaurant management team and training your employees can significantly increase customer satisfaction levels.
These are all characteristics of successful restaurants, and they can be achieved with a little extra effort and commitment.
12 Sure Restaurant Management tips for Better Customer Satisfaction
Managers can employ measures to improve performance and increase the chances of success. Here are a few restaurant management tips that will increase your profits:
1. Excellent Customer Service
Customer service is undoubtedly the most important thing a manager can focus on. Excellent food, coupled with elegant decor, but if the customer service is poor, customers may not return. This ranges to whoever meets customers at the door, how long they waited until they are served, to how long it takes to process their bill. Managers should stress the importance of top-notch customer service to employees. Those who have trouble with this should be trained. Customers will always come back if they enjoyed the overall service.
2. Set Clear Expectations
Every employee should know their exact place in the restaurant’s structure and the duties that come with it. It’s restaurant management 101 to delegate roles. This not only ensures they are done better and in time but reduces the managers’ workload and enables them to supervise the employees better.
3. Effective Communication
Without effective communication, structure operations will collapse. Restaurant management should make sure the channels are open and quick to transmit information. If, for instance, a certain item on the menu runs out, the back of the house staff has to communicate this quickly to the front of the house staff. Customers can then be made aware of what is available in real-time.
Sure, a manager cannot predict what will happen in the future. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be as prepared as possible. There are lots of variables that could affect restaurant operations, and having them in mind prepares you for them. These may include seasonal foods, menu changes, staff changes, inventory, possible competition, and different trends. Having a clear plan prevents management from making reactive decisions that may harm the restaurant.
If you want to learn how to make your restaurant more efficient, read our blog.
5. Setting standards
Restaurant management should strive to set high standards. Employees observe their managers, and if the managers slack, so will the employees. Simply, the manager should embody any qualities he demands from his workers. Employees will be ready and willing to meet high standards if their superior has already met them. As the saying goes, “You Walk the Talk”.
6. Creating an experience
As discussed earlier, the restaurant isn’t just about the food it serves. It has to have something else that makes it more desirable than other restaurants. The friendly and helpful staff is integral to the atmosphere. This is, in turn, based on knowledgeable and satisfied employees. The restaurant management team can achieve employee satisfaction by offering good wages and incentives.
The restaurant could also offer free WiFi, free refills and appropriate background music depending on the concept or feeling you want your restaurant to exude. All these create an experience that the customer will not forget.
7. Train the staff
The importance and benefits of well-trained staff cannot be understated. The hospitality industry usually has a high turnover in terms of employees, so restaurant management has to make training a priority. Training helps set standards for work that employees have to meet. It also sets a consistent standard in the quality of services provided. Customers know what to expect from the staff so meeting their expectations will increase customer satisfaction levels.
8. Trust your team
A lot of managers micromanage, constantly stepping in and telling the employees to do this or how things should be done. While it comes from a good place, this may create complacent employees who sit back and wait for the manager to step in and do their work for them. It may also lead to discontent among the staff as they will feel their manager does not trust in their abilities. A relationship of trust and respect between management and the staff will greatly increase employee productivity.
9. Ask for customer feedback
Feedback from customers is crucial. After all, they are the restaurant’s lifeline. Good servers usually ask the customers how the food was or whether they enjoyed the food. Every table can also have comment cards as some people may be uncomfortable giving negative feedback in person. Knowing where the restaurant has failed or other areas that need further improvement will be instrumental in planning. They can then tailor restaurant operations to address the customers’ needs better.
10. Show Customer Appreciation
The incentive system can work wonders in attracting and retaining clientèle. Reward repeat customers with a free meal, or include something free when they order a meal. This makes them feel appreciated and creates a sense of belonging. New customers will be encouraged to keep on visiting the restaurant if they see that constant visits will be rewarded.
11. Pre-shift meetings
It is important to have meetings with the staff before a new shift begins. They can be appraised of any real-time information that the previous shift may have left. Employees will be aware of the available menu options, those that ran out, and any problematic or unusual customers and how they were addressed. It also allows the manager to observe the employees and make sure they’re alright, focused, and ready to begin the shift. It also serves as a useful team-building tool.
12. Effective Staff Management
The staff can make or break a restaurant. As the clientèle deals directly with a percentage of the team, management must maximise staff productivity to ensure the restaurant runs effectively. How to manage restaurant staff is a question many managers ask. Precise schedules should be set and duties delegated to suitable employees. A system to discipline irresponsible employees should be set, and grievances should be handled swiftly and fairly by restaurant management. Competent and motivated employees will lead to high customer satisfaction levels.
Raising the Bar in Customer Service
Running your restaurant can be rewarding, especially if you see it blossom and grow under your leadership. Incorporating these tactics into your management plan will go a long way in ensuring success. Understanding the industry and what it takes to succeed in it is integral. Strive to create an experience for the customers. Give them a reason other than food for visiting your establishment. Make sure your employees know their stuff. There’s nothing worse than an ignorant and arrogant server. Give them incentives to work harder and more efficiently. A happy employee will guarantee you top-notch service.
Focus on customer service and satisfaction. This is important. Happy and satisfied customers will order more, leave better tips, and most importantly, they will always come back. They will talk about your restaurant and eventually bring their friends and families along. They can also give you excellent online reviews, and they will rave about your establishment anywhere they go. A satisfied customer will market for you so make it your goal to make the customers satisfied before they leave your restaurant. Once out and discontent, you may never be able to win them back.
Managing a restaurant to success is no easy task though, and for the green managers who may need a little guidance, Glee Hospitality is here for you. We provide a holistic approach to management and consultancy of restaurants and hospitality businesses. With a combined knowledge of more than 50 years, Glee offers consultancy and management expertise that will guide you on your journey to success. All you need to do to improve your restaurant’s performance is to contact us – we’re always ready to help.