Updated: Jun 19, 2020
What is your definition of good customer service?
As a restaurant owner, are you sure your managers and the whole team understand what it takes to provide exceptional service?
If you are a restaurant professional, and you are expecting your managers' definition of outstanding service to match precisely your description of it, that is not going to happen. It is because people can't read our minds.
There are three ways you can do to ensure that you and your team have the same kind of understanding of what excellent service is:
1. Ask specific questions
So you must ask specific questions to your managers or team members and even your servers to confirm they know what distinguishes an extraordinary service:
What is their favorite restaurant where they had the best experience?
What was unique about that experience?
Why is it their favorite?
Why do they think it was an exceptional service?
How were they greeted? Did they have a host?
Was it clean, was it organized?
How was the decor?
What about the menu offerings?
Did the server introduce himself/herself? Did they walk you through the menu?
How long was the ticket times?
Can you tell me about the plating of the food?
Listen to how they define outstanding service. For us, sadly, most of our servers have not gone to any fancy restaurant yet and apparently did not experience what excellent service is.
So be mindful of that, don’t expect your servers to provide that high level of service if they have no idea how it looks and feels like.
For instance, you can't expect them to perform at your high level of standard, like the greeting or the friendliness that you have in your head (maybe you are comparing it to a nice restaurant that you've gone to in the past that provided an outstanding service).
Remember not to assume that they know what's on your mind, especially that they never had an opportunity to savor extraordinary service.
2. Put knowledgeable staff in charge of training
For those who experienced outstanding service, ask them what they can do for the team to level up your service?
Let them answer that question and put them in charge of implementing it by training the rest of the team. This way, they can own that aspect of customer service.
This is going to be way more effective than whatever you and I think about based on our experiences.
3. Let your staff experience a fancy restaurant
Another thing you can do is to take your managers and leads to a delightful restaurant, so they get to experience it.
For us, we took our managers to one of the most exquisite restaurants here in San Antonio, Texas, the Tower of the Americas. Throughout the whole experience, we were able to ask them about their views and opinions about the service.
Also, you can conduct contests within the team. For instance, the top 3 winners for the month get a chance to dine in with you to a fancy restaurant as a prize.
This is can definitely get them excited to share the learning from that experience and implement those within the team.
Keep in mind that it is vital that when it comes to providing exceptional service to our customers, we are all on the same page.
The bottom line is, you must work together as a team. Share your thoughts and ideas on how you can provide your customers with a service that will keep them coming back to your restaurant.
The managers and the whole team need to identify key elements of what makes good customer service.
Listen to the podcast:
Download for free!
52 Ideas for 52 weeks of the year to market your restaurant!
The Ultimate Restaurant Marketing Guide