Posts Tagged ‘dining experience’

Valuing the Customer

July 21, 2011

It should be second nature to restaurants, but the simple things are always worth repeating.  A restaurant needs to value their customers.


This goes beyond just offering excellent service, though that is a big part of it.  Customers want to know that the restaurant they are visiting is not going to take advantage of them on any point.


This may include the pricing and transparency, as well as how they are treated when things go wrong.  They want to know that their business is valuable to the restaurant.


One way for a restaurant to show that they value their customers is to make it easy to customize their experience.  Prix fixe menus, easily allowing ingredient substitutions, and offering real values in meal portions are just three ways to go about it.


It would also be wise to make accommodations for those customers with an allergy or a special dietary need.  Train the staff in how to properly address allergy concerns and how to prepare meals accordingly so that the restaurant becomes a safe and enjoyable environment for customers to enjoy their meal.


A restaurant can also be proactive in helping customers find the deals.  Showcasing which meals is a good value for the money may attract more frugal customers to the door.  Showing the price on an online menu can also allow customers to determine if this restaurant is for them or not.


And, of course, taking care of customers when things go wrong is key.  If a problem erupts, the restaurant staff should take the time to listen and fix the problem.  Addressing concerns in a timely and polite manner can go a long way in showing the customer respect.


The customer’s business is important to the restaurant, so why not train the restaurant staff to show it?  Make the dining experience a pleasant and comfortable place for customers . . . give them a reason to grant you their loyalty.

Maximizing the Dining Experience by Satisfying Diner’s Desire for Enrichment and Education

June 22, 2010

Caution seems to be the current buzzword, and moderation is the trend among today’s money-weary consumers. More and more business owners are finding they have to adapt to the changes in the modern consumer and the ways in which they calculate their decision to purchase.

Capturing the Customer’s Imagination
In the not-so-distant past before corporate greed and federal bailouts were the norm, consumers weren’t shy about purchasing items on a whim or for pure pleasure. Today’s consumer, according to a recent survey, is looking for ways to enrich their lives through their purchases. Experiential and educational values weigh heavily in the decision-making process.

For the restaurateur, this means recognizing that customers are looking for more than just good food, a nice location and fair prices. Consumers are, with increasing frequency, looking for an establishment that provides an overall enriching experience.

A server who shares information about the local ingredients used for example, or a sommelier who explains why a particular wine perfectly complements a specific dish add to the diners overall experience of the evening.

In the Mood–Restaurant Atmosphere
Another way restaurant owners can add to their customer’s dining experience is by gauging their mood. Gleaning information during the reservation process is one way to achieve this. Someone reserving a table for two in celebration of a 25th wedding anniversary is likely to be in a different mood than someone making a reservation for a bachelorette party.

Creating quiet spaces for romantic occasions and open spaces for louder, celebratory occasions enables the restaurateur to meet the needs of different customers.

Beyond the Restaurant: Technology and the Hospitality Industry
Some savvy restaurateurs are using technology to reach their customers beyond the restaurant and to continue adding to their overall experience. For some, this means monthly newsletters sent via email. For others, this means creating a website that offers information about cooking techniques and a chef’s column that explains the weekly or seasonal changes in the menu.