I find myself dining a lot more often in fast-casual restaurants rather than ones that provides full service (and I use that term loosely). Why? In addition to being more in charge of the timing of my experience, I find the amount of hospitality in many fast-casual chains equal to or better than many of the casual full-service restaurants – for less money. What else could you gain knowledge from a CASE (copy and steal everything) study of today’s successful concepts? Think hospitality as opposed to service.
On a recent visit to Pei Wei catering menu, PF Chang’s fast-casual concept, with a colleague of mine (his first-time to enjoy there), he was impressed with the friendly food delivery and provide to get drink refills for all of us. Drink refills? Many of us could offer that little dose of hospitality in our restaurants. Heck, at many full-service restaurants today, you’re lucky when 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 as well as the managers are out front and seem to know everyone. Wonder why they still build sales and have long lines? The guests use a better experience at a lower price coin. You have the ability to create an event such as these inside your building as well–should you move out front.
Jump off your kitchen tiles and spread some smiles working the guests’ tiles. Get on the other side of the counter and check your guests’ meals. Inject some hospitality to your restaurant. Why do you think a lot of people glance at the drive-through? They could not want ahead inside. Produce a better experience and they’ll be lining up. Research indicates that dine-in guests spend more, so give them reasons to come on in!
Hospitality Rally – Give a dose of hospitality to your pre-shift meetings. Teach your men and women to connect with your diners–and this begins with you. It will take forget about time and costs no more money for a person pre-bussing a table to smile, learn how the meal is, and see when they need anything else. Your rally should concentrate on the way the interactions happen, not on a series of steps and tasks the guest doesn’t care about.
A newly released trip through my local Chick-fil-A drive-through opened my eyes for the difference between service and hospitality. I ordered a big drink and pulled around for the window. The attendant passed me a straw and told me the entire was $1.29. I gave her the cash, and she joked that was just for the straw–the soda was an extra $1.29. Just a little laugh from someone jblstb her job and showing it to the guests. Services are filling the requirement–in that case, the requirement being “I’m thirsty”–and will be delivered by way of a vending machine or any number of places. Hospitality, though, is different. It takes place through people. Our family dines at Pei Wei catering menu frequently for this very reason. How could you create the transition within your restaurant?
Cashiers, phone, and drive through. An excellent guideline is always to greet the guest by name. Should 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 the best,” “it’s one of our most popular items,” “which goes well with ___” will make sure the guest feels good regarding their order. Simply replace the nod, non-acknowledgement, or “okay” with eye contact as well as a positive response. Watch the sales accumulate.