Do You Know Your Customers?

Conversation With CustomerAs a restaurant owner or manager, you spend a lot of time thinking about food costs, employee schedules and generally how to keep things running smoothly while making a profit. What about customers? Without them, you won’t have much else to consider! So, let’s talk about customers for a moment.

Is the customer always right? How will you know if you don’t listen to them? Take some time each day to visit with the customers. Really listen to what they have to say and respect their opinions. They may differ from yours, but consider what they have to say with an open mind. You might be surprised with ideas they offer! Recently, Jim, the president of ShortOrder.com, went to eat at a local business and while waiting for his table, he noticed the kitchen staff was slowing down to squint, or even worse, pausing to grab their glasses to read each food ticket. He mentioned to the manager that he thought that they could be more efficient by increasing the font size on their ticket printer. The next time they visited, the manager stopped him and thanked him. They had significantly reduced ticket times and customer wait times by implementing that change!

While you may not have time to visit with all the customers, you can still benefit from their opinions with a customer survey. Before you start sending it out, think about your goals. Do you want to make the menu more appealing or the dining room more comfortable? As questions with your goals in mind. While planning your first survey, keep your next one in mind. You’ll want to keep your surveys short, so plan for a second survey for follow up questions. If the customer answers “Yes” that they visit the bar area while they wait, save their information in a database to allow that customer to answer follow up questions about the bar area.

Lastly, have entire conversations with your customers! Be the person that is the most curious at your company. Talk to your customers as much as possible. The key is to talk WITH your customers not AT your customers. Speak their language, generate trust and loyalty. With trust and loyalty, they’ll develop a passion for your brand and share their passion with their friends. Once you have your customers talking about you to their friends, you have the best advertising of all: word of mouth. It’s the most effective form of marketing, but the best part is the cost: it’s FREE!

Moral of the story: with a small investment of your time, you can gain valuable insights into your restaurant and grow your business. I can’t think of a better way to spend your time!

Tags: conversation, customer, industry, insight, manager, owner, restaurant

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Luxor
Luxor
Nemco
Nemco
Vulcan
Vulcan Ranges
Scotsman
Scotsman Ice Machines

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