When we think of great customer service in a restaurant, we tend to imagine a smiling, outgoing, well-dressed server who knows your name, remembers your birthday, and will suggest a wine that pairs perfectly with your meal. So, how can a restaurant owner who runs a counter-serve or quick-serve establishment deliver this same level of customer service? There are four ways you can improve customer experience in a counter-serve restaurant.
Smiling and Well-Trained Staff
This might sound obvious, but it’s true and plays a big role in a customer’s perception of your restaurant. Employees who are smiling and engaging with your customer will certainly leave a customer smiling as well. A well-trained employee is equally important.
You see, an employee who is well-trained and has all the tools they need to do their job well from the start will gain confidence. You can achieve this through thorough onboarding and training. Confident employees who enjoy their job will deliver a good experience to the customer, creating a win-win scenario for both your employees and all your customers.
As with any counter-serve restaurant, a number of your customers will get their orders and then go enjoy their food elsewhere. However, some customers will be looking for a place to sit and stay a while. Creating an interesting, inviting, and comfortable environment will encourage more customers to stay.
You will want to use aesthetically pleasing furniture that will not only look good in pictures but also be comfortable and relaxing for your customers to lounge in. Create an intriguing spectacle for your customers to interact with, such as a glass divider between the kitchen and the seating area to allow the customers to watch as the food is prepared.
If your restaurant is located on a busy street, you can use large, tinted windows so customers can watch people walk by without being blinded by the sun. These will entice more customers to stay and enjoy their visit to your establishment.
Even without servers, you can still create a personalized experience for each of your guests. Handwritten notes are the best way to do this. If your restaurant does a lot of to-go orders, you can put a little message on the order bag. For customers eating in, a little thank you note on their receipt or on a napkin when they pick up their food is all it takes. These small, subtle notes will let you acknowledge your customer’s loyalty and leave a lasting impression on them.
People appreciate having different ordering options. Offering QR code ordering will also show that you value customers who wish to make faster online orders.
Engage Customers Online
In a server-based restaurant, management can more often engage with customers face to face to hear positive feedback or issues. In a counter-serve restaurant, most customers are already gone at that point. Making a point to engage with your customers online can provide the same kind of service that they would receive face to face.
Make sure to respond not only to the positive comments but the negative ones as well. This shows you’re not just interested in making money but also in improving your business—something all customers will respond positively to.
With these tips, you can ensure that every experience your customer has with your counter-serve or quick-serve restaurant will be positive. You don’t need servers to have happy customers who will recommend your business and are eager to come back for more.