Service really begins at your front door. Before you even begin training your staff to serve and sell, do you regularly see what the guest sees? I have always believed that the restaurant business is one made up of a thousand details. Even though we get 990 of them right, it’s the 10 we miss that the guest always sees, and these impressions are lasting ones with potentially great negative impact on our businesses.
Customers come into restaurants for many reasons - celebration, a break from work, family time, or possibly because no-one felt like cooking. But it’s not enough to simply seat the customer, take the order, deliver the food and bring the check. Rather, it’s up to the establishment to exceed expectations and create exceptional customer experiences. Even though guests are seeking food and drink, they’re really looking for more and it’s up to the restaurant to deliver it. That “more” is entertainment!
“I knew absolutely nothing about the business that I got into… so again I mentioned the business of a thousand details and one by one call it the school of hard knocks you know back in the early days it felt as though I was falling from a tree and hitting every branch on the way down. I made a lot of mistakes, I lost a lot of money before I created the systems that then turn things around and moved my business forward. And ultimately I was able to dominate my competition for about 18 of those 20 years that I was in the business ”
Remember the importance of product and restaurant knowledge? Well, staff are the experts and every day, any restaurant anywhere will serve first-time visitors that know nothing about the place, what makes it special or what they might enjoy. By educating, informing and entertaining each customer, the dining experience is taken to a whole next level.
With so many moving parts and balls in the air, running a restaurant is a constant challenge. Effective owners and managers that practice consistent and constant training enjoy a true competitive advantage. This is what separates the best restaurants with a loyal following from those spinning their wheels wondering why their seats aren’t full.
There are so many reasons people run restaurants. Many of us first got into the business because of passion. Maybe you once worked in restaurants and loved the people side, camaraderie of staff and customers or the high-energy. Possibly, you were a chef with a loyal following of raving fans, or you just saw an opportunity and took the plunge. But that was years ago. Are you still passionate and committed to run a top-notch operation?
As operators, we’re competitive people, always looking for ways to increase sales. Creating a healthy competition amongst the staff was one way of keeping them on their toes, upping the fun factor and boosting the restaurant’s bottom-line. This all began with a daily pre-shift meeting.
I was obsessed with profit (not at the expense of quality or service) when I ran restaurants and now, I’m passionate to share my knowledge and years of experience with other operators and managers. After all, if you’re not “crushing it”, what’s the point?
Labor will always be any businesses’ biggest challenge, but you can turn the tables so to speak with a simple system or plan B, that becomes your restaurant’s strongest competitive advantage. I am a big believer in paramount service – it’s the only real competitive advantage. Train your staff to over-deliver and treat every guest as the most important guest and your business will grow.
Whether you run a food truck, coffee shop, fast casual or full-service restaurant, know that every interaction between your staff and each guest must be consistent and memorable across your operation. This comes with regular consistent training as a given, but more importantly the culture of your place. Are you building and sustaining a culture focused on hospitality, family and fun?
Our recent travel experiences differed greatly at a variety of businesses. Whether they were resort hotels, a hip modern motel, high end restaurants, Chinese take-out, the local bagel shop and a bowling alley; the lessons learned are the same. Regardless of the price of your menu or service provided, hospitality is either present or noticeable absent.
In this episode we interview Roger Beaudoin, an entrepreneur, restaurateur, consultant and author. He shares his interesting entrepreneurial journey, his initial inspiration for his first highly-successful restaurant, and valuable tips & advice on growing the profits of your small business.
We all know the Kevin Costner film “Field of Dreams” and the famous line “If you build it, they will come”; but in the world of running restaurants, the reality is “IF you build it, your work begins”. To systemize your business you need to “do the homework”, and it takes a bit of time up-front, but once the systems are in place you have new-found freedom and you’re in the driver’s seat, not the other way around.
It’s no secret that training takes time, discipline and most of all follow-through. You need a game plan, an attentive and willing staff and regular exercises that keep everyone on top of their game.
Arguably, restaurants are one of the most challenging of all businesses and require a “hands-on” approach. No-one can deny the high failure rate, and marginal operations quickly become new statistics.
This service went above and beyond any expectation I had for dinner this particular evening. I had flown in that day, was tired and hungry and was simply looking forward to checking in to my hotel. Eric was unaware of my special needs, yet intuitively took a personal approach to making my experience and all his guests that evening special and memorable. We can all take a special lesson in this true hospitality approach from Eric and I hope you think of ways to apply this approach to your own operation.
Given that the restaurant business is a performance, your guest experience is ultimately determined by how you as owner or manager set the stage. Discuss these 8 great things with your staff today.
When I ran high-volume restaurants for 20 years, the acronym F.A.C.E.S. served as our team mantra. Every day in every restaurant across America, we are seeing and serving new guests every day… new Faces, if you will.
Lighting is an important consideration when you decide to open a restaurant. Read on to learn more and then contact Restaurant Rockstars to get started!
Struggling with how to develop a well-planned menu for your restaurant business? Read on to learn more and don’t forget to shop Restaurant Rockstars now!