Picture if you will a cold January day, you walk up to your favourite restaurant, warmly lit from the outside, as you open the door the scent of those delicious meals fills your nose. Then the waiter comes over and greets you by name and seats you at your favourite table. This is an unbeatable feeling, to feel at home and welcomed.
This used to be a common part of owning a restaurant – you would get to know your customers likes, dislikes and even things like their birthdays. Nowadays in this busy world people are eating out more often and in more varied places so that feeling of being at home and being recognized can often be lost.
Making that feeling for your customers can be recreated for at least some of them, and that feeling is bound to get return customers, which is never a bad thing! Making someone feel comfortable and individual in a busy restaurant or cafe is one of the reasons they will keep coming back. These customers are also great for spreading the word, as they are much more inclined to tell their friends, as well as leave positive reviews.
This kind of customer service starts with your wait team, instead of just the standard ‘How is everything?’ encourage them to ask more leading questions, such as ‘Have you dined with us before?’. Conversation between you and your customers has to be natural and there will always be people more receptive to it than others.
Guests love to be asked personally how they found a particular dish and tend to be a lot more receptive to answering if you phrase questions using the particulars of the food, or mentioning a new method of cooking. So rather than a vague “How was your food?”, asking about the specifics shows that the team member knows the food as well as taking an interest in the customers experience. And now that Booking Ninja can send automatic feedback requests, it’s even easier to get good, honest answers.
Another simple way of making sure your customer feels like he is getting the personal experience, is to ask for their booking name instead of time. If they have booked online before they might have put in any special requests or allergies, take the time to note these down so your customer knows you have read them.
Booking Ninja doesn’t only generate analytics reports, it can also create dedicated profiles of your customers, based on the email address they use to book. Not only will it save any previous comments and allergy requests, you can even add in private notes for yourself and the team. For example; if they love to sit by the window, make a note of it and if you can seat them there it will really make them feel at home. This can be use to keep track of your customers most common allergies, booking habits and the ones who no-show most often.
Thanks for reading!