Customer appreciation is a key component of great customer service at restaurants. Customers enjoy being acknowledged and appreciated. Customers who come to your restaurant regularly want to know that you value their business. New customers want you to feel welcomed and attended to. One of the best ways for restaurants to keep customers happy is to show that you care about their business.
There are many great and inexpensive ways for restaurants owners to show customer appreciation.
Get personal – Customers love personal attention, especially if it is coming from the owner or the manager. Don’t be shy about approaching your customers at their tables and asking how their meals are. Get to know your customers by engaging them in conversation, such as asking them how they learn about your restaurant, what their favorite menu item is, etc. Keep the conversation short and sweet so you don’t disturb them from their meal. This simple technique is effective, because it is memorable and personal. Your customers will appreciate that you took the time to get to know them and to show your appreciation.
Know your regulars – Your most frequent customers are your most valuable customers. In addition to providing steady income for your restaurant, these people are more likely to recommend your restaurant to their friends and family. They are excellent brand ambassadors for your restaurant. It is much easier to keep a current customer than to acquire a new customer. The best way to show your regulars that you appreciate them is to get to know them. Try to learn their names, their favorite food, their hobbies, their kids’ names, etc. For example, if you notice that a particular customer enjoys watching football every time he comes to your pub, you can engage him in conversation about football.
Giveaways – You may occasionally give away free items to your customers to show that you appreciate their business. Items such as a free drink or dessert are relatively inexpensive and can go a long way in showing customer appreciation.
Commit to customer service – Customer appreciation is an ongoing process. It takes time to build up great customer service. This requires commitment. Restaurant owners should commit to consistency and constant improvement. The best way to do this is to focus on building a team and company culture that focuses on customer service. For example, restaurant owners can award and motivate employees that provide outstanding service. Customer comment cards, secret shoppers, and customer interviews are great ways to monitor and improve customer service for your restaurant.