Easy strategies for improving customers restaurant experience don’t need to break the bank, they just call for good restaurant management and interpersonal skills.

Let’s face it, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a restaurant to stand out; there are countless establishments with delicious food and gorgeous ambiance that give the customer a worthwhile experience. However, that alone is not enough to provide optimal satisfaction and repeat customers. Building loyalty with your customers comes from superb restaurant customer service, attention to detail, and personal touches from restaurant management in order to create an unforgettable experience for the customer.

group of friends getting great restaurant customer service

Striving for good service at your restaurant is a no-brainer, but there is quite a difference between good and superb.

The surprise here is that superb restaurant customer service doesn’t have to break the bank, it often includes simply going the extra mile on things your restaurant staff is already doing.

For example, it is pretty standard for the waiter or waitress to check in on the customer (after all, it’s part of the job), an easy way to demonstrate superb service is by having your FoH manager check on each table as they receive their main course. This simple act of service communicates a sense of care from the manager to the customer and provides the customer with a sense of security that even if there was a problem, the FoH manager will take care of it right away.  

Another way to ensure quality service for your customers is easing their wait time. When someone makes a reservation it means they have decided in advance that they will eat at your establishment, which is a form of flattery in the restaurant business. It is imperative that their expectations are exceeded, meaning you too should be prepared well in advance for their arrival. If, by chance, the party has to wait despite if they’ve made a reservation you bar staff can offer them a drink menu to pass the time. Be sure the restaurant manager explains the situation when apologizing for the wait. This helps the customer understand the issue and provides them with a solution to pass the time.

You can control the conversation and change the way guest communication is handled with proper staff training.

waitstaff taking a customers order

It really is all about the little things… even at a restaurant. If executed properly, a customer will remember the finer details just as much as the main course. In regards to aesthetics, ensure that there is the right kind of music playing in your restaurant. While there’s a good chance that the music may not be heard due to the crowd of people, it is an important aspect of ambiance that is sometimes overlooked. The music sets the tone and helps customers understand the pace and nature of the restaurant. Conversely, make sure the music is never playing too loudly and accommodate any customer’s requests for the volume to be reduced.

Likewise, the lighting is an important detail that can sometimes make or break the restaurant atmosphere. Lighting varies from restaurant to restaurant but overall it is important for customers to be able to see each other, as well as the food they have paid for. While mood lighting is another management strategy for setting the tone, lack of light at the table can cause frustration when reading the menu – especially for the older crowd.

server giving guest food

Finally, providing a personalized experience for each and every customer makes them feel valued. For management, that means not sounding automated or rehearsed. Strike up a conversation with customers, ask their names and repeat their name next time you come around. These practices help the customer feel like an individual and is sure to impress. It is also beneficial for the wait staff to be engaging and personable. Building waiter-customer relationships support customer retention and increase the likelihood of the waiter or waitress earning their well-deserved gratuity

Check out Upserve’s Customer Service Guide!

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Quinn Massaroni is a Rhode Island-based freelance writer, graduate student, and daily eater. Her ideal meal would start off with calamari from Druthers in her hometown of Albany, New York, followed by borscht from Cafe Pushkin in Moscow, dessert from Baked Bear in San Diego, and would finish with a margarita on the Salvation Taco rooftop in New York City.