Making Changes on the Fly

When it comes to the restaurant business, owners and managers must be prepared to make adjustments at any point in time in order to maximize customer satisfaction and, therefore, maximize profits. This kind of adaptability requires quite a lot of innovation and creativity, so leadership should be comfortable with looking at all aspects of their restaurant to find new ways to change and adapt. The most important thing is to keep things fresh and fun while keeping the overall business running smoothly.

Finding Inspiration

The best way to find places in which a restaurant can make changes is to look from the customer’s point of view. One restaurant created “Frugal Friday” as a way to reach out to guests who had fallen on hard times. Another long-established restaurant made an effort to literally view the restaurant from the eyes of a guest and revamped the look of everything that customers come in contact with, from the menu to the china.

All of these are techniques that are immediately recognizable to guests, so the return on investment is quick and easy to see. When customers feel like their needs are being anticipated and met, they will return.

Encourage Communication

To know what needs to be altered or added to a restaurant’s daily operations, communication is key. This consists of communication between restaurant and customer, as well as communication between all members of the restaurant staff. Interaction with guests should not be limited to servers. Chefs should leave the kitchen and circulate often, so that they can get a firsthand account of the customers’ response to their food and their experience.

Both servers and chefs can contribute to the cultivation of long-term, repeat customer relationships. When customers feel like they are involved with the chefs, they will likely return because they recognize the relationship as well. Most guests truly enjoy feeling like their input is valued.

One restaurant owner also suggests that servers send out thank you notes to guests who leave their business card as another way to cultivate repeat business.

Also, servers should be encouraged to communicate with the kitchen. Input given to servers is the next best thing to chefs actually speaking with the customers, so the ability of servers to relay messages to the kitchen is invaluable. Often, servers are berated when they return to the kitchen with complaints from the guests, which is completely counterproductive. Chefs should be ready and willing to hear any and all feedback from the dining room so that they can adjust and adapt accordingly.

Ongoing Training

When it comes to training a new hire, training should be extensive and detailed. The new hire should have a chance to train alongside most of the employees that they work with so that they get chance to see what their job will actually be like. Also, it may be helpful to obtain input from all employees that the new hire trains with because the people who had the closest experience with him or her will be able to tell whether or not they are a good fit.

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