I find myself dining increasingly more often in fast-casual restaurants rather than ones that provides full service (and I use that term loosely). Why? As well as being more in control of the timing of my experience, I find the degree 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 learn from a CASE (copy and steal everything) study of today’s successful concepts? Think hospitality instead of service.
On the recent visit to Pei Wei menu 2020, PF Chang’s fast-casual concept, having a colleague of mine (his first-time to enjoy there), he was impressed with 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 most full-service restaurants today, you’re lucky should you get a refill in a timely manner. Will that construct your sales? Certainly!
The Golden Corral in my neighborhood has a very Cheers-like atmosphere, where the guests request specific servers and also the managers are out front and appear to know everyone. Wonder why they continue to build sales and have long lines? The guests have a better experience at a discount coin. You are able to create an event like these in your building also–if you move out front.
Leave the kitchen tiles and spread some smiles working the guests’ tiles. Get on the other side of the counter and view your guests’ meals. Inject some hospitality into your restaurant. Why do you think a lot of people go through the drive-through? They could not need ahead inside. Develop a better experience and they’ll be lining up. Studies have shown that dine-in guests spend more, so give them a good reason ahead on in!
Hospitality Rally – Put in a dose of hospitality to your pre-shift meetings. Teach your men and women to interact with your diners–which begins with you. It will take no more time and costs no more money for somebody pre-bussing a table to smile, find out how the meal is, and find out if they need anything else. Your rally should give attention to how 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 for the difference between service and hospitality. I ordered a big drink and pulled around towards the window. The attendant passed us a straw and informed me the complete was $1.29. I gave her the money, and she joked which was only for the straw–the soda was an additional $1.29. A little laugh from someone jblstb her job and showing it towards the guests. Services are filling the need–if so, the necessity being “I’m thirsty”–and can be delivered by a vending machine or a variety of places. Hospitality, though, is different. It occurs through people. Our kids dines at Pei Wei menu frequently with this very reason. How will you have 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 such as “great choice,” “that’s my personal favorite,” “it’s our most favored items,” “that also goes well with ___” will ensure the guest feels good about their order. Simply replace the nod, non-acknowledgement, or “okay” with eye-to-eye contact as well as a positive response. Watch the sales mount up.