Yes, people go to restaurants to eat food that they’re most likely not going to cook at home. So it matters. But it’s far from all that matters. It’s an occasion. It’s a destination. It’s a service. It has to be all of those things and be good at providing them. Here’s how you make sure it’s doing that.
The spotlight is on a restaurant from day one. You will have people that will rush to find out about you and spread the word. But you need to do plenty of word-spreading yourself. Online marketing and social media are helpful. Even better is creating a brand that is easily recognizable. Before you open your restaurant up, make sure that you know the essence of what it’s trying to give the customer. From the logo to the name, everything about your restaurant should be consistent with a brand.
The branding needs to continue with the physical premises of the restaurant as well. Curb appeal is one thing, but how do your furniture, your space and your lighting create an experience? Put more care you put into crafting a proper scene around the food as Elitetraveller.com suggests. The more effort, the more favorably people will react to that food. Even the choice of music should be consistent with the scene you’re trying to create.
At the same time, be very aware this is a service industry. People expect a place that is kept in top condition, especially since they’re having food there. The cleanliness of everything matters. As does have bathroom space to accommodate all comers. Especially those with extra needs, like people with children or customers with disabilities. Make sure quality and reliability are the top concern in the bathroom. Make sure you’re using the right sources. For instance, BabyChangingStation.com researched a number of designs to find the best for retailers.
Naturally, the people in the restaurant are a part of the experience as well. Anyone who is at the front-of-house needs customer service to be chief amongst their skills. Appropriate speech and proper etiquette need to be drilled into them. As does making sure they’re aware of the customer’s time when waiting for information or their food. Create a culture of excellence amongst your staff.
Customer service isn’t the only role of your staff, of course. When running a restaurant, you are running a machine with many parts that have to move well simultaneously. You can’t afford to have staff that ticks only one box. You need to train them to be more flexible. Of course, you can’t expect a chef to act as a receptionist or vice versa. You can, however, create a list of roles and make sure those with transferable skills are trained to take up more than one as is needed.
From the very human needs of prompt service and quality facilities to the wants of a place that feels special. Your restaurant is going to be a lot more successful if it puts the effort that it should into these elements.