12 Dec Tips to Building a Great Hospitality Program
Focusing on and building the hospitality part of a business is one of the most important aspects in building loyalty. Even in the quick service restaurant industry, where speed and accuracy are paramount, customers look for those little extras that keep them wanting to come back for more. This perfectly explains why food service industry executives and managers pour over and implement a wide variety of strategies to make the overall customer experience in their restaurants stand out above the rest in the overwhelmingly competitive food service industry. Whether it means adding extra power outlets in strategically placed areas within the restaurant, adding new and exciting menu items, or upping the game with regard to the level of service provided by servers in the restaurant, the aim is to build an excellent hospitality program and here a few tips to follow in achieving that goal:
Greeting guests as soon as they enter a restaurant and greeting them warmly and promptly is a standard that makes a great impression. The greeting should also be delivered with a sincere tone, which is something that cannot be scripted. There is a script with which to train employees with, but the employees have to be naturally friendly.
Beyond the greeting, many guests are happy to entertain friendly conversation, while others are happier with a quick in-an-out, virtually communication-free experience. Guests who go through the drive thru are generally looking for the communication-free transaction, while those that enter the restaurant may be more open to a quick conversation. The days of the cookie-cutter restaurant where everything looks the same and you offer the same exact experience to each and every guest are long gone. Restaurant guests today are still looking for good food and establishments that are willing to go an extra step in offering multiple types of service tailored to many different types of guests and their personal preferences.
If an eatery is planning to offer exceptional service, then the next logical step is to accept that labor costs should not be an area in which to skimp on costs. Having the right amount of employees and the right type of employees to service guests is what helps to bring guests back, because they are receiving a quality, consistent and memorable experience. A relentless and consistent focus on hospitality keeps guests happy. Research indicates that team members who work for a restaurant that understands that team members should not be overworked or underpaid have more fun on the job and this, in turn, establishes further employee loyalty, higher speed of service, higher order accuracy, excellent customer service all around, and a more successful business overall.
Other things to pay close attention to in establishing a successful restaurant with a great hospitality program are to strategically build a unique experience (i.e. offer unique ingredients or other menu offerings, introduce something unique in the customer experience), take hints from full-service restaurants and incorporate them into a fast casual setting, and pay attention to aesthetics.