How training your team to work together can improve your bottom line
In a restaurant, the ambiance, atmosphere, and efficiency of the establishment can make quite as much impact upon a patron as the food itself. Each person to enter begins to evaluate, and their evaluation will affect their decision to come again, as well as what they tell their friends and associates about their experience. Word-of-mouth recommendations or disapproval carry a lot of weight, so it is important for an establishment owner to assess the overall experience that a patron may have. The goal is to make a complex process look effortless, pleasant, and simple. Training your team so that each member of the establishment has control over difficulties that arise, is just good business. The only way to know how they conduct themselves in uncomfortable situations is to train your team, and it can have a significantly positive effect on a patron evaluation.
For the patrons, greeters should:
- Greet them pleasantly
- Seem genuinely pleased to see them
- Handle table assignments efficiently
These are what the patron wants, but the underlying process is a little more complex. The greeter is likely to be stressed if there are not enough tables and therefore long wait times, or if the technology isn’t working right. These situations can occur quite often, and much of it is out of the greeter’s control. Training your greeters, so they understand that a packed house is a good thing is vital, so they can focus on the first two elements. Patrons much more likely to be patient about wait times if the greeter is pleasant and genuinely listens to the concerns that are expressed, as well as keeping their demeanor classy, collected, and dignified.
Servers also have a seemingly straightforward set of tasks. Customers expect them to:
- Be pleasant
- Take orders correctly
- Bring the food out in a timely manner
- Refill drinks regularly.
- Provide and take the bill.
Even excellent, seasoned servers can find themselves in the unenviable position of having trouble that is outside their realm of influence. At times, customers might be unreasonably demanding, greeters may have assigned too many tables in one area at once, or there may be delays in the kitchen with food. Servers themselves may make their own jobs harder by making assumptions about the clientele; for example, they might believe that if a patron doesn’t order something from the bar that they will not tip well or order dessert either. With proper training, your servers can initially make good impressions on their guests with friendly – but not overly familiar – conversation, a thorough understanding of the menu and the options, and a confident reiteration of what each member of the party ordered. This kind of service can go a long way toward establishing credibility with your customers. Also, keeping drinks refilled regularly is a small but effective way of impressing the party.
Cooks are expected to:
- Receive the orders.
- Prepare the orders.
- Have all table orders ready for delivery at the same time.
These simple task can also be riddled with difficulty; if a server took an order incorrectly, if the patron has a non-standard idea of what medium-rare means, or if the customer forgets to indicate that they would like the dish without a certain ingredient, cooks can find themselves repeating dishes and wasting valuable time and ingredients. It is, logistically, more difficult for a cook to make a good impression on the patron since they don’t interact directly. However, a cook can make a good impression with elegant plating. A little bit of style to the plate, or perhaps a bit of garnish, can go a long way in creating an impressive and appetizing meal.
Eating out is a way for patrons to feel special and important; it isn’t just about food. Regardless of the type of food served, a level of dignity, class, and sophistication, as well as genuine concern for the patron, can create an ambiance that a patron will want to repeat.
Consistency is can only be assured by training. When your customer comes back, after a good experience, he or she expects the same level of care and service they received before, and if they don’t get it, they may assume the first time was a fluke and won’t return again.
With your help, your team will have all the tools and training they need to make your restaurant a success, we can provide them the tools to streamline their process and take them to the next level if you instill in them the discipline to use them.