I find myself dining more and more often in fast-casual restaurants rather than ones that offers full service (and I use that term loosely). Why? In addition to being more in control 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 can you study from a CASE (copy and steal everything) study of today’s successful concepts? Think hospitality as opposed to service.
Over a recent holiday to Pei Wei menu, PF Chang’s fast-casual concept, having a colleague of mine (his first time to enjoy there), he was impressed with all the friendly food delivery and present to get drink refills for all of us. Drink refills? The majority of us could offer that little dose of hospitality within 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 in my neighborhood has a very Cheers-like atmosphere, where guests request specific servers as well as the managers are out front and manage to know everyone. Wonder why they continue to build sales and have long lines? The guests possess a better experience for less coin. You are able to create an experience like these within your building too–if you move out front.
Leave the kitchen tiles and spread some smiles working the guests’ tiles. Get on the other part of the counter and look your guests’ meals. Inject some hospitality in your restaurant. Why you think so many people glance at the drive-through? They may not want in the future inside. Create a better experience and they’ll be lining up. Studies have shown that dine-in guests spend more money, so give them a reason ahead on in!
Hospitality Rally – Put in a dose of hospitality in your pre-shift meetings. Teach your men and women to connect with your diners–which starts with you. It requires no longer some time and costs no longer money for someone pre-bussing a table to smile, find out how the meal is, and discover when they need everything else. Your rally should concentrate on the way the interactions happen, not on a series of steps and tasks the guest doesn’t value.
A recently available trip through my local Chick-fil-A drive-through opened my eyes towards the distinction between service and hospitality. I ordered a large drink and pulled around towards the window. The attendant passed me a straw and told me the entire was $1.29. I gave her the amount of money, and she joked which was only for the straw–the soda was yet another $1.29. A little laugh from someone jblstb her job and showing it towards the guests. Services are filling the requirement–in that case, the requirement being “I’m thirsty”–and may be delivered with a vending machine or a variety of places. Hospitality, though, is different. It takes place through people. Our family dines at Pei Wei menu prices frequently for this particular very reason. How can you make the transition in your restaurant?
Cashiers, phone, and drive through. An excellent rule of thumb is 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 widely used items,” “that also goes well with ___” will guarantee the guest feels good regarding their order. Simply replace the nod, non-acknowledgement, or “okay” with eye contact and a positive response. Watch the sales mount up.