Passionate about serving up great eats, but want to make your restaurant even better?
Check out these tips from 20 Lemons intern Danielle Iosue:
Hire Great Staff
Having great staff is key. Restaurant staff should always be friendly and knowledgeable. The best way to keep the staff knowledgeable is to have them taste all the food on the menu. If the staff knows how the food tastes, they can accurately answer guest’s questions. If the staff is rude, guests will not want to come back because the service was lacking. Be the example of how you want your staff to be. If you brush off guests’ concerns, your staff may do the same.
Also, get to know your staff. Having a close-knit relationship with your staff will allow them to feel more comfortable at work and let them know they are more than “just a worker” to you.
Give Great Service
Not every guests experience will be perfect, but each one can be great. If there is an issue with a meal it should be resolved right away. You can offer a comp meal or give them a deep discount. Before the guests leave, you should always check on them one last time. Even when something bad happens, a customer can leave happy and come back.
Give Back to the Community
Guests love to see their favorite local restaurant giving back to the community. It could be as simple as giving a certain percent of a night’s sales to a school, or as big as hosting an event for a local charity. A simple way to give back is to sponsor a Little League team in your town.
Mingle with Guests
As an owner, you should make yourself known. Introduce yourself to some of the guests and ask them how their meal is going. This engagement will show how much you really care about your guests and the quality of their meal. This will also earn you some compliments about your food and staff!
Keep the Menu Fresh
Changing up the menu every so often will keep regular guests engaged. Use seasonal ingredients to make new dishes. This will help to you save on costs and offer the freshest ingredients. Try out new foods as a special, and if they do well add them to the menu for a limited amount of time.
Have a Take-Out Menu
People love to eat out, but they don’t always have the time to go and sit down at a restaurant. Having a take-out menu, even if it is a limited one, will allow guests to grab their favorite foods for their lunch break or dinner on their way home. It will also keep the kitchen busy and ensure that everyone has something to do.
Offer Specials and Promos
Who doesn’t love a good deal? Coupons and specials get people excited. A simple one is “$5 off any two entrees”. This guarantees two entrees, but does not limit what the guest can buy. Promos can offer free items such as dessert or an appetizer. Reviews are great, but not everyone will give one. If there is a coupon for doing one, then the guest will be more likely to complete it.
Use Social Media
Using social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram is a great way to engage customers. You can share pictures of your food and restaurant, or even start a hashtag and encourage customers to use it when they post pictures of their favorite dishes. These pictures will get people talking about your restaurant and eventually their butts will be in your seats! Do not be afraid to post regularly. Food is something that people love to see.
Never Stop Improving!
Today can always be better than yesterday. Think, “What went wrong yesterday that I don’t want to happen again today?” If you ask yourself that question every day, there will be fewer avoidable problems. Staff can be coached, recipes can be improved, and quality can be built on.
Work With 20 Lemons
With all of these improvements, you’ll be ready to bring more hungry people through your restaurant’s doors. Get in touch with us for help with traditional and online marketing to promote your restaurant.