When it comes to restaurants, you are either a restaurant worker or a customer. Be that as it may, there will be the element of customer service whether you are the service giver or receiver. What exactly is restaurant customer service? That’s what we are here to find out!
This article will teach you everything you need to know about restaurant customer service, why it is important, and why customer satisfaction needs to be on point. But before we move into those subjects, we need to understand what is restaurant customer service in the first place.
Restaurant customer service is the service that the restaurant’s staff offer to the customer. Customer service in restaurants includes friendliness towards customers, knowledge about the menu, attention to the needs, flexibility to requests, and compensating for mistakes.
These 5 aspects make up the restaurant’s customer service as its whole. Now, let’s look at each one individually to understand how each one is done in action.
The first thing that a customer sees and the waiter or other restaurant employee needs to show his friendliness. Being friendly, smiling, and making the customer feel comfortable is extremely important to make right at the beginning.
We all know how important first impressions are, and like in human relations, the customer will have a first impression of the restaurant within the first seconds. Restaurant staff can make this happen by smiling, using terms like Ms and Mrs, pulling back the chair in high-end restaurants, and simply being pleasant to talk to.
One study found that first impressions are mostly made without speech. Therefore posture, eye contact, facial expression, and body language are the great determiner of whether the customers get good vibes from the restaurants or not. Also, the way the staff dresses, how their hair is done, etc., affect the first impression as well; however, those aspects don’t exactly consider friendliness.
Attention is a big part of customer service in restaurants, and the staff should always offer it because the customers are expecting it. Depending on the restaurant type, though, the level of attention is determined by that. For example, fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s don’t offer as much attention as fine dining restaurants; neither is required nor expected.
The restaurant staff can offer attention by asking how the customer is doing, asking if they like some preferences or alterations to their orders, checking up once or twice during their meal, and eyeballing the table enough to notice that they are taken care of. If they have something to say, they shouldn’t struggle to get eye contact and service.
Keep in mind that there is a thing as too much attention that many customers can find annoying if you are going to ask 5 times, is everythign all right, or trying to small talk too much and too hard. Moderation in all things and applies to attention in customer service as well.
Customers expect at least a decent level of knowledge about the ingredient’s origin, what ingredient’s does the dish contain, daily specials, perhaps some recommendations for the wines or certain dishes, and general professionalism as a whole.
In most cases and restaurants, general knowledge about the products will be enough; however, if the customer asks something bizarre, it isn’t expected by most customers that the staff could have an answer to it. After all, the restaurant staff is humans, not supercomputers that know everything.
Knowledge about the dishes is essential, especially when someone asks about allergies such as peanuts or other severe ones. In addition, some special diets such as veganism and not eating pork by Muslims and Jews are really important to know, and in those things, things should never go south.
Flexibility is another important thing to get right in the restaurant’s customer service. For example, if a customer want’s to change a sauce of equal value, wants bread toasted to extra crispy, or want’s to do some extra modification to the order that doesn’t count as a loss in profit in the restaurant, it should be possible in most cases.
Also, flexibility is required from the staff’s part in work hours as well. Sometimes, big parties order huge checks without warning; then, a staff member should be flexible enough to stay for a while so the order could be done with efficiency and care.
Of course, when an employee is flexible, so should be the employer. Therefore if one worker has stretched many times, then that worker should be rewarded by approving his or her’s weekend off request or something similar of equal value. The employer needs to keep the employees motivated so the restaurant could thrive with a happy staff.
Last but not least, making things right when the restaurant or a staff member has made a mistake is important to maintain a good restaurant branding, in addition to ethical reasons. Mistakes shouldn’t be concealed, especially if a customer’s feelings are hurt.
Every business owner knows how fast a bad word travels mouth to mouth. It is no wonder why Amazon is one of the most successful companies globally because it is obsessed with perfect customer service.
Some examples of how to compensate for a mistake for a customer are a small discount on the final check, new product, gift card, or something similar.
It’s important to have an objective eye because there are unreasonable customers out there that might demand compensation even when mistakes aren’t made or if the mistake is too minor for compensation. In these situations, the customer might get rude, so it’s important to know how to handle it, and compensation shouldn’t be offered without reason.
Read also: How To Deal With Rude Restaurant Customers?
Keeping these five rules in mind will result in good customer service with all aspects covered!
Is Restaurant considered customer service
Any business that involves customers is considered customer service. For this reason, the restaurant industry is in the customer service business.
The main customer servers are waiters, but chefs, managers, bartenders, and even dishwashers are customer service workers because they serve customers more or less in person. However, all of them must help the customer in their desires if they encounter one, even the dishwashers and chefs.
Why customer service is important in a restaurant
Customer service is important in a restaurant because the customer expects it. The customer needs to order drinks, food,s and be attended to. That alone isn’t enough because the staff needs to take good care of the customers by being friendly and offering knowledge about the offerings.
A restaurant couldn’t operate without customer service because there wouldn’t be anyone to greet them, offer menus, cook foods, serve foods, charge them, and cleaning after them.
What is good customer service
Good customer service is being friendly to customers by smiling and seating them making them feel good. Also, good customer service includes knowledge about the menu, being attentive towards their needs, and compensating mistakes if the need be.
Why is customer satisfaction important?
Satisfied customers will tell their friends and family about the experience generating new potential customers and perhaps coming back themselves. Also, satisfied customers will leave positive reviews, order more, and generate a good atmosphere.
Read also: 11 Tips for Improving Restaurant Branding
Remembering the 5 basic elements of customer service in restaurants will result in only good experiences, and all restaurants should invest in mastering these tips. By the way, restaurants aren’t the only businesses that can benefit from the tips above, so even if you work in sales, grocery stores, or anywhere between, you can implement some of the knowledge into your life.
I hope this article gave you real value that you can benefit from, and you now know what restaurant customer service is. Next time when you dine in a restaurant, see how well the staff performs in each category.