Strategies To Please Your Customers

Some restaurateurs don’t know how to win over customers that will keep them coming back for more.  Inflexibility and penny pinching adds to this equation.  Yet, it is relatively simple to please your customers.  Happy customers will be your voice for your establishment that leads to new business.  They will be more than happy to refer your restaurant as well as become regular patrons.  Follow these few simple tips and your restaurant will be filled with an endless stream of new and loyal diners.

Refills – Don’t charge for refills.  It will turn your customers off!  If you charge for additional water that is poured from the same pitcher of your brewed iced tea is poor customer service and poor business.  Don’t be penny wise and pound-foolish.  Your patrons will remember that free refill, whether it’s coffee, ice tea or even a soda refill.  The few cents it will cost will come back in big bucks.

Flexibility – Be flexible with your menu — “No substitution” is a no-no. Always, accommodate special requests.  In today’s world, many are vegan, gluten free, and you must be sensitive to their dietary needs and requests.  Accommodate as best you can, this will go a long way in keeping the customer happy.

Special Treats — Offer Treats — Whether the chef is sending you a sampling of an specialty appetizer when first seated or a homemade cookies for dessert giving a treat goes a long way and is always remembered.  It shows them you care.

Admit Mistakes — If something goes wrong, as mistakes happen, ie; waiting too long for your reserved table, slow service as the kitchen is backed up, admit it, apologize and offer buying them a drink or give a complimentary dessert.  Include this in your profit and loss statement and set a percentage aside to include this in your budget.

Snacks to Nibble — When most customers arrive at your restaurant they are hungry – especially kids.  Have the waitstaff or busser bring out something to nibble ie; olives, bread, nuts, when they are given the menus.  This will not reduce what they will order but will keep them happy that you are thinking of them and their appetite. This goes a long way to satisfying all your customers – of course crayons and a placemat to color for the kids always works too.

Empower Staff — Encourage your staff to solve problems and be attentive to the needs of your customers.  Move to a new table, delete a dish from the check if necessary – of course within reason.  Keep your eye on the dining room and your staff to ensure everything is running smoothly – step in if you have to.

Get to know your customers.  Set yourself apart and ask yourself why your patrons dine at your restaurant as opposed to your competition.  Emphasize your value, know what your customers want and give them more than they expect.

There are many ways to get your message out and let your customers know you care.  Pay attention to pleasing your customers and they will remain loyal and continue to dine at your restaurant on a regular basis.