The hospitality industry has always been an excellent business option for ambitious entrepreneurs, especially if they are able to develop restaurants within their respective establishments as a secondary source of income. People will always need a place where they can spend a laid back weekend or have a pleasant meal.

However, it’s hard to deny that, with dozens of new diners popping up each day, the industry is slowly becoming saturated and the customers’ attention span is becoming dangerously short. In such a competitive market, the restaurants need to develop seamless guest experience and impress their visitors as soon as they enter the doors. Otherwise, they might never get a second chance.

Let us take a look at some of the ways to achieve this level of proficiency.

Hire additional supporting staff

Although they are physically separated, the ensuing chaos in the kitchen almost always finds its way into the dining room. As a result, the establishment appears sloppy and the guests are faced with various unpleasant delays. So, as a first step of making your service more efficient and improving the customer experience hire more supporting staff. If you are concerned with additional expenses and idling, try to identify the hours when you experience a higher frequency of guests and limit the assistance to these periods.

Provide your employees with proper training

Your employees are the living embodiment of your brand. Therefore, they need to represent all the values your company was built upon. While preserving this surface moniker, they also need to retain a high level of professionalism, so invest some time to provide them with extensive training. Also, remember one important thing – your training sessions should be provided in the form of coaching. Enforcing too strict rules will always create a certain level of dissatisfaction your guests will certainly be able to notice.

Pay attention to details

One of the easiest ways of earning the guests’ affection is to be attentive and recognize their needs even before they express them. In the case of returning visitors, you can, for instance, offer them some of their favorite meals. Any professional property management system will be capable of logging such details into your customers’ profiles. As for the first-time guests, you can always get them extra napkins, provide them with extra plates for sharing dishes and other similar concessions. These small gestures are as appreciated as the quality of your meals. 

Manage the guests’ expectations

The reputation of your hotel/restaurant is largely determined by the way you manage the guests’ expectations. If you have a tendency of overpromising and under-delivering your customers will very quickly lose their patience. Instead, you should keep your promises realistic and constantly work on the ways to surpass them. As the expectations management 101, you should make sure that your guests are always well-informed. If some of your meals are excluded from the discount or the menu has recently changed use all of your social media channels to make sure the customers are aware of it.

Facilitate peak periods

One of the most annoying things about the hospitality industry is the long hours spent in the waiting room during peak periods. If you want to keep your guests satisfied your mission will be to facilitate these time slots the best you can. For instance, you can deliver the menus to your waiting guests 15 minutes before they are seated and make the table turning much faster. Another move that has proved to be very efficient in this regard is moving some of your promotions to off-peak hours and seasons.

Make waiting experience more pleasant

Speaking of waiting rooms, the guests who have found themselves stuck there are determined to dine in your establishment. They had an option to go anywhere else but they decided to eat your meals. You should treat them with as much respect as possible. In other words, make them feel comfortable and wait time feel shorter. As a step one, you should provide all the guests with proper seating. Furthermore, you should regularly send your waiters to take drink orders and update the guests on the status of their table.

Upgrade the payment system

This may look like a small detail, but in a lot of situations, your guests will want to split their bills, even though they often don’t say that out loud. Meeting these needs and presenting them as a payment option ought to earn your restaurant a couple of recommendations, even if they are not always publically ushered. So, set up a system that allows the servers to split the checks on different cards, and you will not only do a lot to increase the customer satisfaction but also make the table turning much faster.

We hope you have, by now, got some general idea of how to make the customer experience more seamless and pleasant. The hospitality industry is a field of work where passion and hard work can get you very far. But, only so far. If you want your hotel to stay relevant amongst the growing competition, you need to go above and beyond to make your customers feel special. These seven tips will set you on the right course.

Posted by Elaine Bennett

Elaine Bennett is an Australian-based digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. She writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more people and help them on their business journey.