If you can provide a better service than your local competitors, you will easily stand out in the crowd. It doesn’t matter if you have a small, medium or large restaurant – good customer service can turn your place into a success.

It’s your job as a restaurant owner or manager to make sure that your staff will give your customers a good dining experience and it doesn’t have to be a difficult task.

1) Offer something extra

Check out your local competitors and find out what they are missing in their customer service standards, and then add it to yours. Provide a jug of water for each table, offer bread with the food or add a little piece of chocolate with the coffee – all for free, of course. It’s the little extra effort that will raise the bar that your customers will remember.

2) A greeting is more than a “hello”

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Physical appearance and body language can enhance your guests’ experience of good customer service. You can gain a lot by welcoming your guests in a calm manner instead of blurting out overcooked phrases about how happy you are to see them or regurgitated speeches on today’s specials. Find a good combination of words and body language and keep smiling! Remember that our body language says more than words ever can.

3) The customer is not always right, but…

The golden rule of “the customer is always right” doesn’t always prove to be correct. If the customer is downright rude or makes inappropriate complaints, then it’s your job as an owner or a manager to control the situation. One way of doing that is to make the customer think he is right, even when you know, he isn’t. Letting it go will make him feel appreciated and listened to – then you can take your frustrations out later. However, if the customer actually is right in the situation, then…

4) You should admit to the mistakes

It’s not an unthinkable scenario that one of your staff will spill or drop something either on the table or on the customer, or perhaps unintentionally misinform the customer of the soup of the day. Mistakes happen. Don’t try to cover it up by pretending they don’t. Apologize or offer a form of compensation if it can prevent an unfortunate situation from evolving.

5) Have a good training program

Have you ever been to a restaurant where the staff was not on the same page? With a formal training program, your restaurant staff will get some set guidelines they can follow at all times. An efficient way of doing it is by having a buddy system where you let the old hands mentor the newcomers. A good customer service training program will ensure that everyone can contribute to a successful dining experience.

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