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Guest Service

Dining Room Management “A Lost Art”

October 8, 2013 By: George Barton


Customer Satisfaction Can we agree that our guests make decisions to return  to your restaurant based primarily on what takes place at their table?  If so then why not take the necessary steps to insure that every detail of their experience is nothing short of outstanding.  

Dining Room Management or the role that your managers play in the front of the house will contribute greatly to customer satisfaction.  Let’s examine the importance and key steps you can take to insure your team maintains top of mind focus. Let’s insure that the guest experience exceeds all parties’ expectations, assisted by the critical role that managers play in every shift.    

Keys to Success:

Stay in the dining room:  Too many managers spend excessive time cooking, running food and conducting team member functions. Coach and direct that those activities will be performed exceedingly well by team members. When managers take on key hourly activities, they take their eye off the “big picture” in the dining room and guests suffer.

Touch tables:  Whether your brand believes in talking to guests while dining, one thing is a given.  It is easier to resolve a problem while your guests are still in the dining room versus driving home with a problem that was not resolved.  Customers will generally broadcast a poor experience as well as share an outstanding experience.  

Monitor first approach:  It’s easy to sell iced tea or soda. Challenge servers to simplify messaging and market best in class food and beverage offerings that represents your restaurant or brand.

Recognize GREAT behaviors:  When you see it being done well, quickly recognize that achievement.  It only takes a few seconds.  

Correct POOR behaviors:  Conversely when you see poor execution, coach to the desired behavior. Do not berate team members. Address issues so that poor execution is addressed immediately.     

Continuous movement: Move throughout your restaurant to monitor numerous scenarios.  Provides great opportunity to coach your team.   

What Not To Do

Don’t hover:  Guests come to dine, not discuss the economy or their personal issues with managers and team members. 

Don’t over coach:  As noted, berating a team member during the shift can cause the shift to go sideways.  Coach team members afterwards.

Don’t ignore the obvious:  Do not take your eye off the ball with respect to quality of food and beverage. Tacit approval on product offerings that you know are incorrect will not win the game.  Stop and fix it. Make it right.

Drop the clipboard, cell phones and i-pads. Insure your management teams are comfortable in front of your guests.  Guests know when the approach is phony, contrite and not genuine.  

4 Walls Marketing

•  The appearance of your restaurant and team members along with the overall experience and execution you create for your guests is critical. 

•  Insure informal communication with guests that visit your restaurant links well with your brand strategy. 

•  Encourage guests to spread the word when you deliver exceptional food, beverage and service quality. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.

•  Remember, you are on stage. Keep it natural and by all means have FUN.

Moments of Truth

A moment of truth in hospitality could be defined as anytime your guests make a conscious decision to grade your quality of service when dining in your restaurant.  Since there are literally thousands of these moments, why not focus on a robust dining room management initiative. 

 

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For a Complimentary Operations Review contact George Barton gBartonInnovations.com or call 321-662-0641


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