In no other industry is timing the issue it is in restaurants. From entry to the check being paid, timing is the most delicate portion of customer service. Your chef could cook the most amazing filet mignon in the country, but if your customers have an unpleasant experience due to bad timing, then those customers will seek their filet mignon elsewhere. Another aspect of timing is in your wait staff. Teach them to recognize when to approach, when to speak and when to bring the check, because this is also paramount to a pleasant experience in your restaurant. But the main reason why systems like ours are a good fit for businesses lies in the timeliness of placing, preparation and delivery of the meal.
Before They Walk in the Door
Customers fail to patronize restaurants with a no reservation policy. While most people are resigned to such policies, they more enthusiastically arrive at restaurants that do make reservations. The point is to give customers the beginnings of expectation of excellent customer service before they walk in the door. If customers know they will be seated in a timely manner, they can therefore expect their food in just such a manner. Remember, these people are hungry, and they came to you for your food.
Perhaps you enjoy a lot of traffic in your restaurant. In such cases, you’d have a good idea if you were to reserve a certain number of tables for those without reservations. No one need wait for a table. Their food reaches them in a timely manner, and everyone is happy.
As They are Being Seated
Your wait staff should be prepared for the number of place settings at their tables. Ice water, travel cups with lids for toddlers along with pictures and crayons for said toddlers should be delivered in a timely manner. Your wait staff will give their customers a little time to decide what they want along with being prepared with the daily specials should customers ask. This is where our system shines: as the order is being placed, it goes to the kitchen. There, the order changes colors as it is being placed, prepared and delivered. Your wait staff can assure their customers at what time their order can be expected to arrive. Perhaps your wait staff could ask if the customers want the toddler’s food to arrive first. Parents appreciate this due to the fact that small ones eat slower than their parents, added to the fact that they are just as hungry as their parents.
During the Meal
Timing during the meal is perhaps the most delicate part of customer service. Here, your wait staff runs the risk of hovering over their customers in case they need refills, condiments or other things. Here, also, is the possibility of your wait staff getting busy with other tables and ignoring, albeit unintentionally, their first tables. Another issue of timing during the meal is when the wait staff gets chatty with their customers in seeking to fulfill their needs. Some diners don’t want their conversations interrupted by a too-talkative wait staff. If the restaurateur’s budget stretches to extra wait staff in order to avoid this most delicate of timing issues, then your customers benefit.
After the Meal
Following the clearing of the table, the boxing of left-over food and the checking-out, the restaurateur who informs his guests of upcoming specials, coupons for meals and special events they will be catering often has repeat customers. If customers know what to expect before they enter the restaurant, then they will be expecting such little nuggets before they leave the restaurant. Give it to them, even if it’s just a new item on the menu the next week.
Because customer service is everything to any business, giving them the best customer service keeps people in business.