7 Ways to Guarantee A Great Restaurant Brand Experience

Blog-7-ways-Brand-Experience

These are the seven variables by which your restaurant brand is accessed. It’s important to keep in mind that your brand is not what you think it is but what your customers think it is—from the moment they walk in the door, the welcoming they receive, the choices on the menu and the food they ingest to the surrounding ambiance. The ultimate goal is to earn loyal customers who can trust that their experience is a repeatable one.

Revel in your unique identity. 
Before you decide to base the theme of your restaurant on food alone, ask yourself, “What story are we trying to tell?” People love to get behind passion about one’s heritage or fulfilling a lifelong dream. Do you want to share your mother’s Italian cooking? Are you a celebrity (even if just in your small community)? Or maybe you want to be the best little Sandwich Cafe in town. Whatever you decided, leverage it every way you can—the name of your restaurant, the interior decor, and the theme of your menu design. Engage customers by telling your story on social media and providing a link to your online menu. Check out some additional helpful tips on boosting your brand on Menu Shoppe’s blog. 

Greet customers quickly and courteously.
Immediate acknowledgement is important. If your host/hostess is on the phone taking a reservation, preventing them from making a proper introduction and greeting, they can still make eye contact and smile or cover the phone to say a quick,
“I’ll be right with you.” As soon as they can, they should thank the customer for coming to your establishment, Thank you for coming to Sendar’s Restaurant, I’m Rebecca. Will you be joining us for dinner? Customers appreciate being greeted, especially when it is sincere. Besides, both you and the customer are aware they could’ve selected that other restaurant.  

Train staff on image.
93% of how we are perceived—and how we perceive others—is based on body language. This involuntary, nonverbal assessment occurs every time we enter a new situation. Because the spoken word accounts for only 7% towards influencing their perception, you’ll want the first person your customer comes in contact with to pass the initial non-verbal scrutiny filter: appearance and body language.

Train your staff to be aware of not only their own body language, but also how to interpret non-verbal cues from customers; are they pausing too long when the host/hostess informs them there are no window tables available? Do they look away or purse their lips? Being quick to suggest enjoying a glass of wine at the bar, if they’re not in a hurry, will often quell their disappointment. Be willing to make it a complimentary glass of wine if it will help make the rest of their evening a positive experience.

Be consistent from the door to the dining table.
The customer will notice the details you attend to as equally as those you missed. What ambiance are you creating? If it’s quiet and intimate then you want to be sure that when your server pulls out a chair, the legs won’t scrape on the floor, disrupting the very atmosphere you aim to provide. Is the music in line with the setting you are trying to create? Is it too loud? Err on the side of too soft. Are your menus inviting to pick up and peruse? Are they inside a genuine leather menu cover or a café style menu cover? Whether your customers are coming to engage in social interaction at a pub or looking for an intimate dining experience, you want to deliver better than they expected.

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Menu Shoppe’s genuine leather menu covers.

Accommodate your customers.
Let’s face it, we all have our likes and dislikes. Add to the mix food allergies, dietary restrictions, vegan diets, and the latest food trends, it can seem like a lot to address. Providing easy replacements for sides and sauces will let your customers know you are flexible and willing. Be open to their suggestions for future substitutions and tell them you will gladly pass them on to the chef. You might even consider highlighting a “special substitutions” section on your menu. Most people committed to their health and dietary regime don’t mind paying a premium for quality choices. They may also feel embarrassed calling attention to their food issues by asking a litany of questions.

Provide intuitive service.
Naturally, your servers’ mannerisms might be more familiar with regulars than with new customers. And the degree of server interaction will vary between serving a couple having a romantic dinner as opposed to a table of conference colleagues. From the pacing of the meal, how frequently your server checks in, down to filling the water glasses before the customer asks, timing is key. It’ll make the difference between an exceptional experience and a satisfactory one.

Show your gratitude.
Gratuity goes both ways. Encourage your servers to ask questions before putting the check on the table. When the customer looks at the total it represents the dollar value of their dining experience. And that is the best time to show your gratitude by thanking them for choosing your restaurant and that you hope to see them again. Include a comment card that won’t require too much time to fill out. Make sure other staff acknowledge customers with a smile or a “thank you” on their way out. Gratitude is golden. 

Take the first step towards creating a brand identity that you can revel in, your menu. Our Design Services can help customize one you’ll absolutely love!