Critics, as seasoned professionals will tell you, can make or break a restaurant. One bad review may keep potential customers from coming. Several mediocre reviews may prevent you from gaining further popularity. If this is an issue you’re facing, don’t give up! There are plenty of ways to boost your restaurant’s reputation. Here are five ways to improve your restaurant’s reviews.
1. Stay Modern
One of the many reasons modernization is crucial for businesses is that it makes everything easier. Businesses can spend less while getting better and more effective results. Customers can receive and pay for products and services with minimal effort. Because of this, guests tend to appreciate the ease offered by modernized restaurants.
One of the best steps you can take is to stay updated on new business trends. If an easier payment system is released, read up on it and look to invest. Never fall behind concerning the newest trends.
2. Follow The Steps of Service
The steps of service for front-of-house workers are absolutely crucial. If your servers aren’t using this guide, your restaurant may be dealing with long wait times, incorrect orders, and uncoursed meals. Worst of all, you might experience a surge of walk-outs.
The steps of service are generally as follows:
- Greet guests
- Offer beverages
- Take an appetizer and/or entree order
- Check in two minutes after the food has been dropped
- Clear plates and empty glasses
- Offer dessert
- Drop the check
Since every restaurant is unique, you’ll likely be able to fill this outline with specific details. Be sure everyone gets a copy of your restaurant’s steps.
Service is all about timing. Every server must find the perfect balance between under-attentive and overattentive. Once this outline has been implemented, check with guests to see how the timing felt.
3. Never Understaff
Understaffing your restaurant can be tempting, especially on days that tend to be slow. However, you never know when this can backfire horribly. Oftentimes, a rush will come out of nowhere. If you don’t have at least one server for each section, you risk gaining a slew of bad reviews.
In order to combat this, create a cutting schedule based on prior numbers. If Tuesdays tend to get slow around eight, plan on cutting one or two servers at that point. From then until you close, keep making cuts until one or two waiters are left. Of course, this will be subject to change. If the restaurant is abnormally dead, you’ll probably want to cut at least one person early.
4. Quiz Front of House
Taking orders is only a small part of a server’s job. The best waiters not only have the menu memorized but also know unlisted information. Here are some frequently asked questions guests are sure to bring up:
- What accommodations can be made for allergies/dietary restrictions?
- Can changes be made to menu items?
- What ingredients are used for various items?
- Is the juice freshly squeezed?
- What temperature is the meat cooked to?
In order to avoid any misunderstandings with customers, your team must be prepared with extensive and accurate knowledge. A great way to ensure this is by quizzing your front-of-house staff. If you can’t sit everyone down to take a paper quiz, try asking pop-quiz questions when the restaurant isn’t busy. If you have time, you could try making flashcards for everyone. The more your staff knows, the more impressed customers will be.
5. Listen To Customer Complaints
Listening to a customer complaint can be downright unpleasant. However, this experience is unavoidable in the restaurant business. Whether the food was undercooked or the service was slow, you’ll almost certainly be dealing with unhappy guests. When this happens, the best thing you can do is listen.
While the customer is discussing the complaint, practice active listening at all times. This makes the guest feel seen and understood. Once this respect is established, you can begin to tackle the issue.
Creating a stellar reputation for your restaurant is a never-ending job. If you produce excellent food, staff correctly, and prepare your servers, you’re almost sure to maintain positive reviews.