I find myself dining a lot more often in fast-casual restaurants rather than ones that offers full service (and I use that term loosely). Why? As well as being more in charge of the timing of my experience, I find the degree of hospitality in many fast-casual chains equal to or better than many of the casual full-service restaurants – for less money. Exactlty what can you study from a CASE (copy and steal everything) study of today’s successful concepts? Think hospitality as opposed to service.
On a recent holiday to Pei Wei hours, PF Chang’s fast-casual concept, having a colleague of mine (his first time to eat there), he was impressed using the friendly food delivery and present to obtain drink refills for people. Drink refills? The majority of us could offer that little dose of hospitality in our restaurants. Heck, at many full-service restaurants today, you’re lucky should you get a refill in a timely manner. Will that develop your sales? Certainly!
The Golden Corral inside my neighborhood has a very Cheers-like atmosphere, where guests request specific servers and the managers are out front and seem to know everyone. Wonder why they carry on and build sales and also have long lines? The guests use a better experience at a lower price coin. You are able to create an experience like these in your building as well–if you move out front.
Get off the kitchen tiles and spread some smiles working the guests’ tiles. Get on the other side in the counter and look your guests’ meals. Inject some hospitality in your restaurant. Why do you think so many people glance at the drive-through? They could not want to come inside. Produce a better experience and they’ll be lining up. Studies have shown that dine-in guests spend more money, so give them a reason in the future on in!
Hospitality Rally – Give a dose of hospitality to your pre-shift meetings. Teach your individuals to connect with your diners–and this starts off with you. It will take forget about time and costs forget about money for someone pre-bussing a table to smile, find out how the meal is, and see when they need everything else. Your rally should focus on how the interactions happen, not on a series of steps and tasks the guest doesn’t worry about.
A recently available trip through my local Chick-fil-A drive-through opened my eyes to the distinction between service and hospitality. I ordered a big drink and pulled around to the window. The attendant passed us a straw and explained the total was $1.29. I gave her the cash, and she joked which had been only for the straw–the soda was an additional $1.29. A little laugh from someone jblstb her job and showing it towards the guests. Service is filling the need–if so, the need being “I’m thirsty”–and will be delivered with a vending machine or a variety of places. Hospitality, though, is unique. It occurs through people. Our family dines at Pei Wei restaurant frequently for this particular very reason. How will you make the transition in your restaurant?
Cashiers, phone, and drive through. A good rule of thumb is always to greet the guest by name. In the event you don’t recognize them, their name is Welcome. Start their experience off on the right foot. Positive, reassuring responses like “great choice,” “that’s my favorite,” “it’s our most favored items,” “that also goes well with ___” will make sure the guest feels good with regards to their order. Simply replace the nod, non-acknowledgement, or “okay” with eye-to-eye contact along with a positive response. Watch the sales add up.