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3 Ways to Exceed Customers' Expectations

Updated: Jun 20

How can you make a customer give you that elusive 5-star review?


The number one thing that you can do to let your customers give you a 5-star rating is to exceed their expectations.



There's nothing new here, it can be a cliche, but for you to get people to give you a 5-star rating, you need to exceed their expectations.

In today's age, if I give you $10 for a sandwich and you give me one that tastes good, it is just fair. I paid you $10 so it needs to taste good. And it is just good enough to be given a friendly service because of course, that is what I deserved for giving my $10, that is what I paid for.


This is just meeting my expectations as a customer. That is not going to compel somebody to go out of their very busy day and take time to give you a 5-star rating, it would not even make them think to give you a review.


They got kids, they got work, they got a mortgage, they got issues, who knows? To make people go take 5-10 minutes out of their busy day, you got to exceed and not just meet their expectations.


So how can we exceed customer’s expectations?


Here are 3 tangible ways that we can do as restaurant owners to exceed our customer's expectations:



1. Improve your speed of service


People are hungry. If they wanted to take 30-40 minutes for their food, they would have stayed home. They would have microwaved something or made a box of mac n' cheese in their houses.


One thing you need to realize restaurant owners is that, we have this whole industry, the fast-food industry, that cash in on the fact that the food is served fast.


So how can you exceed customer's expectations?


For instance, if you own a pizzeria, it takes like 15-20 minutes of waiting time before the customers get their food.


You must think of a way on how you can exceed that expectation, that standard time of 15-20 minutes wait time and perhaps make that 7-10 minutes.


It starts by setting a standard. Are you measuring your ticket time recently?



A lot of POS system has a display kitchen function that calculates your average ticket time. If not, get somebody to have a pen and paper to write down how long it takes for the food to come to the customers after they ordered it.


We have set a standard time for different order types like dine-in, carry-on, phone orders, online pick-up, deliveries.


For instance, we have speed trials to meet the 10-minute dine-in preparation. We teach our servers techniques to be faster.


This is an aspect of the restaurant that you need to be constantly improving, and that is reducing your ticket times. It has got to be one of your goals in life.


2.Overly friendly service


It is a vague term but that's the way to exceed expectations.



As restaurant owners or managers, one of the things that you can control and measure is the greeting and farewelling that your servers are providing.


You can be in the dine-in for 10 minutes and act as a customer, observe how they are doing it. You need to have training for this stuff. Do you have a standard script for this?


Greeting and farewelling your customers in an overly friendly way is something that you can train your servers with.

Measure it by merely watching how they do it as the customers come into your restaurant.


That greeting when people walk in is an easy way of seeing if you can provide that friendly service upfront and set the expectation.



3. Cleanliness


This is definitely in your control. Cleanliness does not mean to have fancy stuff.


A lot of times you go to a restaurant with beautiful decor. And maybe as a local restaurant owner, when you step in a restaurant, you look around and for instance notice, a very nice decor.


Maybe a chandelier that you think that the owners probably spent $2000 on that or flooring that caught your attention.


We may not be able to afford that at this time, it took us 3 years to redo our flooring because we want to save up and spend money wisely.


And that worked out for us. So what you can do now is to maintain the cleanliness of your restaurant.


People care about bathrooms in particular. A lot of times, they feel that if the bathrooms are clean, it is an indication of a clean kitchen.


Do you have a bathroom cleaning checklist? Are you able to add a little something around, maybe some fake greenery? or do you spur up your bathrooms in a way that there is some more life into it?


For instance, you can put an air freshener that smells like lavender or an ocean scent so people can smell it when they walk in.


Those little things, a clean bathroom, and a clean surrounding overall are some of the ways that you can exceed the customers' expectations.


As restaurant owners, exceeding customer’s expectations should always be one of our goals.

This is the best way to satisfy our customers and keep their loyalties. If we provide excellent customer service at every opportunity, they're more likely to keep coming back to our restaurant and perhaps take the initiative to give us 5-star reviews.




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