The average American eats out 5.9 times every week. Sure, some of that is just grabbing a sandwich, but a lot of it is sitting down for a lovely meal at new restaurants.
The reason people go out to eat goes beyond good food. They are looking for an overall dining experience. So, if your restaurant makes world-class food, what are some other things that you can do to guarantee a memorable dining experience?
From the ambiance to a certain je ne sais quoi this guide will give you through simple steps to take make every night at your restaurant a night to remember.
Make the Reservation Process Simple
A night out to eat begins before your customer sets their foot in the door. It starts with the reservation. Perhaps you work on a first-come-first-serve basis, in which case you can simply skip to the next step.
However, if your restaurant takes reservations then you need to ensure it’s a smooth and seamless experience for your guests. If guests cannot get hold of you, or have to wait too long for a reservation it will sour their experience and they’ll likely head over to a competitor.
Technology is revolutionizing restaurant management — use it to your advantage. You can have software that allows guests to book reservations online and gives them the option to reserve the table of their choice based on real-time availability.
The memorable experience will have already started for your customers when you offer these kinds of services.
Create a Memorable Restaurant Atmosphere
The ambiance of your restaurant is one of the most important factors to consider when creating a memorable evening for your guests. What kind of mood are you going for? Is your restaurant warm and inviting, perfect for a cozy date night? Or is it fun and playful, ideal for dinner with friends?
Don’t be hesitant to pump some resources into creating the ideal atmosphere as this can really make or break a dining experience. Think carefully about the mood you want to create and have the restaurant lighting, music, and set up to match.
Focus on Restaurant Decor and Cleanliness
The decor and cleanliness of your dining room, and in fact the entire restaurant, is important if you want your guests to enjoy themselves. The moment your guests walk in they should fall in love with the decor of your restaurant.
Of course, it depends on the theme of the dining experience that you offer, so there are no hard and fast rules on the type of decor. Rather, just be thoughtful and invest in high-quality decor items.
Cleanliness is vital. Nothing will ruin a diner’s night quicker than a dirty environment, cutlery, tables, etc. Everything should be absolutely spotless.
Excellent Service for a Memorable Experience
You can have the greatest food in town, but if your service is bad then guests are unlikely to come back. Your serving staff is the face of your restaurant and they should be friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.
When you provide impeccable service, you guarantee happy customers. When guests arrive, your hosts should make them feel welcome, showering them with greetings, offering to take coats, and providing welcome drinks or treats.
The restaurant’s servers should be intuitive and on the ball. Empty glasses and ashtrays should be cleared immediately, drinks re-filled, and all the orders perfectly remembered.
Adding a Little Showmanship to the Restaurant Experience
These days people love to go to restaurants that offer a novel experience. Everyone posts their meals on their favorite social media platforms and loves to share experiences with friends and followers.
So, adding a little showmanship is a sure-fire way to create a memorable experience for your guests. Perhaps you can toss pasta in a wheel of cheese in front of guests, set a desert on fire, or offer bespoke cocktails that bubble and smoke.
Whatever it may be, offering that extra something special is a great way to ensure that guests leave with big smiles.
Payment Needs to Be Quick and Easy
Your guests have full stomachs, they are gushing about how delicious the food was, their favorite part of the night, and when they’re planning on coming back. There’s only one step left to ensure that the night remains a memorable, fantastic one — the payment.
Customers should never wait too long to receive the bill. What’s more, you should offer different payment methods as well as allow for split bills. You want to make it as simple and smooth as possible for your guests.
Consistency is Key
You offer fantastic food, top-notch service, and a memorable dining experience. But is any of that important unless you can remain consistent?
Your food should be excellent every time. From the starter dish to the desert, to every night that a customer comes back.
The same goes for service. Once you have a reputation for great food and service, all it takes is a few bad nights to throw your restaurant off the tracks.
Ensure you always maintain the highest quality by hiring the best staff and only using the best and freshest foods.
How Can You Improve the Dining Experience?
While reading through this guide did you notice some areas where your dining experience may be lacking? First and foremost, food and service are everything. After that, work hard to create the perfect ambiance and always make sure that cleanliness and decor are on point.
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