The Key To Providing Amazing In-Store Experiences

Posted on November 6th, 2018 by Breck Hapner

Ensuring that your customers not only have a good experience while in your restaurant, but a memorable experience, is key to maintaining your success. But the concept of the “customer experience” is somewhat complex and varies from business to business.

What works for a casual dining Italian restaurant won’t work for an upscale brew pub. There are, however, some overarching ideas that all restaurant owners can implement when working to provide an amazing customer experience.

Create An Atmosphere

What kind of ambience embodies the personality and values of your restaurant? What kind of customers are you trying to attract? If your restaurant is laid back and family-friendly, you need a warm and welcoming atmosphere that customers will pick up on the moment they enter your doors.

If your restaurant is chic and trendy with an ornate cocktail bar, your décor and your staff’s decorum should reflect that. If you haven’t already, consider hiring an interior designer to take your vision and run with it. A one-of-a-kind atmosphere will make your restaurant memorable.

The Five Senses

Full-Service Restaurant Magazine recently published a piece on how a restaurant should appeal to its customers’ five senses. Obviously, your menu should cater to their taste. In terms of sight, your restaurant should be visually appealing – that includes everything from lighting to cleanliness to the style of your menu.

When it comes to sound, your “audio environment” should be in line with the atmosphere you want for your restaurant. Take into consideration the kind of music you want to play as well as other factors such as street noise and noise from the kitchen.

Smell is almost as important as taste: as you know, restaurants produce a host of smells, not all of them entirely pleasant. Do what you can to ensure that customers are hit by the delicious scent of your menu as soon as they walk in. Touch is likewise important. Are your seats comfortable? Are your table linens fresh? Does your staff work hard to ensure tables are free of sticky residue? Catering to all give of your customers’ senses will help improve their experience.

Treat All Customers Equally

Whether a customer has never been to your restaurant or they’ve been coming in every day for years, you should treat them all equally. Train your staff to treat all customers as though they are already loyal patrons. They should all be greeted and served with the same smiles and attentiveness. A new customer who is made to feel welcome at your restaurant is more likely to become a repeat customer.

Teach Employees How To Handle Problems

When and if a customer is dissatisfied, your employees should know how to handle the problem calmly and professionally. Few things can damage customer satisfaction quite as quickly as a poor exchange with one of your staff members. They should know what to do in specific situations – such as an incorrect order or under- or overcooked food – and when to ask for a superior’s help in the matter.

Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

Listening to customers’ feedback is key to improving their satisfaction. Of course, from time to time there are likely to be customers whose complaints are unfounded. But many times you’ll find that their suggestions are worth listening too – and perhaps even implementing. Listening to their feedback will also let them know that you care about their opinions and value their patronage – which can lead to customer loyalty.

How Satisfied Are Your Customers?

Your restaurant’s digital experience is another factor to consider when evaluating your customers’ satisfaction, and we understand that at DineEngine. That’s why we listen to customer feedback when building and improving restaurants’ websites, mobile applications and in-store kiosks. If you’re interested in learning how we can improve your online platforms, tell us about your objectives so we can help you deliver an amazing customer experience.