7 Ways to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service in Your Restaurant

Thinking about how you can up your customer service game? We've got you covered here.
Amanda Hamel

At the end of the day, restaurants are a business. And like any other company, you need to create an environment where customers feel appreciated and valued when they come in for dinner or lunch. But how do you do that? The answer is simple: by providing excellent customer service! For example, if your waiter screws up an order or doesn't explain something clearly enough—or even just delivers the bad news—then it can really hurt your restaurant's reputation in a big way. So let us tell you about seven ways that every restaurant owner should think about delivering great customer service:

1. Cross-train your wait staff.

Cross-training your wait staff is a great way to keep them engaged and reduce stress on the team. This can be accomplished by having them cross-train in multiple areas of the restaurant, so when it’s time for rush hour you’ll have all hands on deck. Cross-train your waitstaff so they know how to serve, host, and prepare food and drink orders. This method works wonders for restaurants that may be short-staffed. When your employees are trained for everything they can do everything!

2. Don't make the customer wait.

Making customers wait is a big no-no. If you can avoid it, do so. And don't make them wait for the check either—the customer should be able to walk out of your restaurant feeling satisfied and happy with their experience. When you're waiting for your food at a restaurant, it's not just the time that counts—it's also how long you have to wait. Customers are looking for quality service and will leave if they feel like they've been forgotten or not cared about enough by a business owner. If possible, try to keep food out of the equation when offering customer service; this way, your staff doesn't have any excuse not to take care of them right away!

3. Serve customers with a smile, even if it's forced.

There’s a reason why people say “smile, even if you don’t feel like smiling.” Smiling is contagious. Whether you smile because of a genuine desire to make someone else happy or because it makes your day better, the fact remains that people will respond better when they see you smiling—and sometimes even if they don't know why! If there's one thing we've learned from our research on customer service, it's this: People want what other people want. If customers feel like their experience at a restaurant was bad (or even just average), then chances are good that there will be negative word-of-mouth among them and other potential customers who hear about it later on in life.

4. Make sure to treat repeat customers well.

It's important to remember that your repeat customers are the ones who keep coming back and keep your restaurant running, so it's in your best interest to make them feel valued and appreciated. You can accomplish this by treating them with respect and courtesy. Your regulars will return because they trust you, so show them that you understand their needs and concerns by being friendly and responsive when they contact you. This will make it easier for them to recommend your restaurant or business online or even give referrals if needed! Give each of these individuals personalized attention when they come into the store or restaurant—even if it just means changing out their menu items (or serving them) on different occasions than usual!

5. Engage your customer in conversation.

The customer is always right, but that doesn't mean you have to ignore them. When customers ask questions, engage them in conversation. You can do this by asking questions that get you closer to the heart of what they're interested in. By asking the guest questions you may even be able to spark their interest in some new menu items or others meals they haven’t tried yet! You’re both engaging with the guests and upselling at the same time. This is a great method to use in your restaurant and something the wait staff should be trained on. 

6. Learn how to recover from a bad situation.

Once you've provided excellent customer service, it's important to know how to recover from a bad situation. The most important thing to do in a bad situation is to be honest and apologize. When someone is upset with your restaurant, they're probably not going to be happy with the way things worked out in the end. That's fine—they can walk away if they want! But when someone leaves unhappy after eating at your restaurant, try apologizing for their experience. If possible, find out what went wrong so that it doesn't happen again and give them something extra (like free dessert) as compensation for their time and money spent there. It might seem small at first glance but this simple gesture will go a long way towards making customers feel valued by the company they patronize often enough in order for them not only return again but recommend others too!

Another way to help fix a bad situation is by asking if they want something else. If someone leaves unhappy because of something unrelated (such as having to wait too long), don't shy away from asking whether or not there is anything else that could make up for whatever slight inconvenience occurred during service time – whether it's adding more staff members who arrive earlier than usual during peak hours or providing complimentary drinks upon arrival instead of having patrons purchase drinks separately prior arrival date.

7. Customers need to feel appreciated and valued when they are dining at your restaurant.

When it comes to delivering excellent customer service, you need to make sure that your customers feel appreciated and valued. This can be done in many ways. Make sure you’re thanking them for dining at your restaurant to show your appreciation. Acknowledging their comments and feedback on the food or service they received during their meal to ensure you’re providing them with the best experience possible. If all else fails, try offering discounts and promotions for customers who are regular visitors! 

And remember, the best customer service is one that is delivered with a smile. It's easy to forget sometimes, but the best way to show your customers that you care about them is by putting yourself in their shoes and thinking about how it would feel if someone treated you with respect and kindness. This can be done through good communication skills such as listening attentively, being respectful of others' time by respecting their schedule when taking orders or answering questions from customers, and making sure employees are well trained in using these tools so they know what they're doing when dealing with guests!