Check your job description, you know, the one that made you want this demanding restaurant manager job in the first place. Now compare it to this hospitality want ad: “…manager is responsible for ensuring excellence in guest satisfaction throughout the team.” Odds are, your job description includes the same kind of dedication to guest service.
The problem is not delivering exceptional guest service. You wouldn’t be where you are today in this crazy business if you didn’t have a passion for guest satisfaction. The problem is getting your restaurant team to share that passion. Here are some suggestions on how you can motivate your team to take guest satisfaction as seriously as you do:
- Live it. Sure, you always do what you can to make the customer feel valued, but what happens when that pain-in-the-neck customer leaves? Do you make fun of him? Do you roll your eyes and make comments you’d never want him to hear? Your employees are listening and they’re evaluating how you really feel about your customers… and they’re adopting your same attitude, good or bad.
- Show it. Take your primary service team on occasional field trips to other operations. What are they doing better? What ideas can you borrow from them and possibly even improve upon? What can you feel proud about doing that the other operation does not? Rate the competition’s performance throughout the meal and talk about how service affects the entire dining experience.
- Track it. Many operations have a feedback box or a customer-service card, but how often do you reveal what’s found in those boxes? Encourage your guests to fill them out (offer free soft drinks while they do so) and track the service ratings. If you get great feedback from a customer, tell them you’ll buy them an appetizer on their next visit if they will say that same thing on Yelp! Consider Mystery Shoppers as well. Tell your team they may be coming to pinpoint areas of strengths as well as weaknesses. Being honest about their visit will improve service and help remove the “spy” aspect.
- Reward it. When your team reaches (or continues to remain) at a high level of guest satisfaction, reward it with praise as well as tangible incentives and when you receive positive guest feedback about a specific team member, recognize and reward them in front of their coworkers at a pre-shift meeting or sales meeting.
Restaurant Service and Sales Training
The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.