How to avoid poor customer service in your restaurant

The Stone Grill in Blackpool is open once more. It’s a beautiful time to be alive and our whole team are glad to be back at work, doing what we love. From a conversation we had with one of our customers the other day, it seems not everyone in hospitality is happy to be back.

Some of the stories we have heard around poor customer service have been shocking!

Which prompted this post. A quick reminder to fellow restaurateurs on what makes good customer service. We aren’t trying to tell you what to do, just offering our insight.

Service with a smile

A smile costs nothing but delivers amazing value. Remembering why you’re there and what you’re doing for a living, and for whom, is key here.

A smile is a simple way to make a guest feel welcome and valued and its value cannot be overstated.

Know the menu

It doesn’t take long to learn a menu but too many waiting staff don’t know the menu, key dishes or the ingredients that go into them.

It doesn’t take long to have a tasting with staff. Show them the dishes, let them taste and let them know key ingredients. It provides a far superior customer experience for very little effort.

Personal admin

Nobody likes to see scruffy staff, unkempt uniforms or to smell someone who has been on shift too long. Personal admin and hygiene standards are a key component of customer service.

Your staff represent your brand and if you’re being represented like that, you’re not going to be around for long.

Uniforms should be clean, hair in place, hands scrupulously clean and hygiene kept a top priority.

Effortless grace

While we don’t expect every staff member to waltz around a dining room like they just left the Bolshoi, we do expect a level of grace while on the floor.

That means being trained how to carry trays, how to negotiate a busy dining room, how to approach diners at the table, how to refill glasses without spilling and how to avoid common dining room mishaps.

Not answering the phone

Being uncontactable is a cardinal sin in business, especially hospitality. If you don’t have a portable phone, set a rule that whoever isn’t carrying answers the phone.

A ringing phone audible in the dining room isn’t a good look either. Make sure all staff know that if you aren’t fulfilling a customer’s wishes, you answer the phone.

Then make sure they are trained in phone etiquette!

Customer service isn’t something that can be ignored. When competition is so fierce and customers have so many avenues to voice their displeasure, not acing service will impact business. We hope this little reminder offers value!

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