What matters in the beginning? In the first moments of contact with customers, which actions stand out the most? Customers likely remember the first interactions with their chosen venues in sparkling detail, so it is important for restaurants to get it right.
Learning how to meet and greet restaurant customers in a positive way is an essential skill restaurants must learn to sustain themselves. A restaurant that properly greets customers reminds them of the joy and richness of eating out. Here are our top tips.
In the hospitality industry, first impressions certainly count. Still unsure about how to greet restaurant customers in a positive way? Contact us for free confidential advice. Carbonara App is available to help every hospitality business find success and thrive.
How Important is Greeting Restaurant Customers in a Positive Way?
Did you know a new customer creates a solid impression of your food business within seven seconds of meeting staff? In short, learning how to meet and greet restaurant customers is very important. No matter what area of life you work in, first impressions count.
Greeting customers both correctly and appropriately will shape their understanding of your restaurant. It clearly demonstrates that staff is committing time, care, and attention to every customer hoping to enjoy their meal.
Otherwise, if restaurants are putting little effort into greeting customers, why bother? Passion and quality are both at the heart of every successful hospitality business.
1. Body Language
When asked what it takes to get really good service in restaurants, the owner of an Italian restaurant in London’s Covent Garden had this to say: “It’s about being present, noticing what’s happening, and anticipating what’s needed.”
To be present means, primarily, to function with the body. Your restaurant staff’s bodily behaviour matters, playing a significant role in both overall service and satisfaction.
In all businesses, body language plays a symbolic role. This means using gestures, expressions, and styles to represent positive qualities about your business. When customers arrive, no business can reasonably know what’s going on when they come through the doors. Service sensitive to the body’s behaviour can help put them at ease.
Yet be careful: an over-eager, well-meaning gesture can easily be misinterpreted as insincere. A fake smile comes with a price, Forbes says, leading to poorer customer relations and further negative consequences for staff. Strike a balance with a coordinated training programme that incorporates this knowledge.
2. Read the Customer
Put your staff’s sensory perception skills to the test. When it comes to how to greet restaurants in a positive way, attend to the individual needs and preferences of the customer — that is, read the customer.
Showing respect is king, but be wary of overdoing it. Some customers across the world may find it uncomfortable to be addressed as “Sir” or “Ma’am”. For example, The Telegraph writes that though these popular forms of address are common in the US, a more informal approach is the norm in the UK. “Customers are king,” one management expert declares, “but you don’t have to call them sir”.
Of course, staff behaviour depends on the style of your restaurant. Read up on how to select an appropriate style in our ultimate guide to starting a restaurant, thinking about how to greet customers in restaurants.
3. Have a Chat
How can your restaurant cater to customers without getting to know them? The art of conversation can go to great lengths to further strengthen the service your restaurant provides to customers.
In doing so, train staff on essential matters on using conversations with customers to improve services.
Harvard Business Review is one of the many publications to advise on this matter. When conversing with customers, remember to:
- Use select words and phrases that encourage discussion (e.g., open-ended questions)
- Avoid a “me-centric” approach — i.e., your viewpoint, your food preferences
- Communicate the restaurant’s message and services to new clients
4. Menu Delivery
When a new customer finds their seat, the staff will have already prepared the table. Cutlery, condiments, and placemats should be sitting upon arrival.
Yet more often than not, busy nights mean staff naturally forget the key details. This could be something as simple as dishing out the physical menus to customers at the table.
Don’t keep restaurant guests waiting.
With a digital menu, restaurant customers can order straight away. The use of QR codes — short for quick response codes — helps to enhance order delivery.
In addition, with the handy use of smartphones, customers can make mobile drink pre orders while they wait. This:
- lessens the burden on staff
- bolsters overall drink sales
- strengthens customer loyalty
What better way to greet restaurant customers in a positive way than with an efficient pre-ordering service?
5. Learn From Other Industries
On greeting new restaurant customers, neighbour industries provide plenty of great ideas restaurateurs can pick up on. Take, for instance, retail — an industry with many expert tips on interacting with new customers.
In most retail training courses, staff learns what questions to use when liaising with the public. Call it an advanced script. For instance, the question, “Can I help you?” normally encourages the answer, “No”, an automatic reaction to an overheard phrase. So keep in mind that choosing a more natural greeting facilitates easy-flowing communication with customers.
6. Efficient Service with Carbonara App
For customers who want an easy and stress-free table booking service, the decision to find tables online is now the favoured option. Over 5,000 billion USD is made in online sales across the world. It’s where today’s customers are turning to, and now restaurants can do the same!
Learning how to greet restaurant customers in a positive way should not be a burden. Now restaurants can take the easy route, without detracting from service quality. Explore how to greet restaurant customers the best way with online bookings.
If you liked this piece, read how some restaurants in Europe are currently enjoying Carbonara App’s multifarious features: “Italian Beach Club and Restaurant Enjoys Carbonara App”.