Meeting customer expectations is paramount to running a successful restaurant business. The great news is that by tracking the customer journey and making the customer experience a top priority by communicating clearly and staying and up to date with health regulations, you can easily give your customers the service they expect. If you run a restaurant and want to know more about what you can do to ensure a positive customer experience, read on.

1. Allow for customer feedback.

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Voice of the customer solutions provide one easy way to collect and track customer feedback. A VoC solution allows for quick survey questions and answers that will allow you to judge overall customer success. This service is a great addition to any restaurant interested in hearing the voice of customers with the intent of making improvements. VOC programs take customer information and analyze it into recommendations for what you can do to improve on customer service.

2. Follow health and safety guidelines.

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Customers expect best practices when it comes to both safety and hygiene. Particularly because you are working with food and due to the current pandemic, they will want to know you and your staff use food grade disposable gloves, are careful with food prep, have rules around hand washing, and are encouraging social distancing with staff. Like it or not, customers have more on their mind than foodborne illnesses now. Because of the pandemic, many of their food safety concerns naturally revolve around bottom line health routines near their food.

Whether eating in dining rooms or calling for carry out, part of the modern day customer experience is that they come in with expectations. They also expect restaurants to be prepared to protect not only them but their staff. From temperature checks to socially distanced booths and contact list name and number collections, 2020 has diners expecting a safe experience. If you haven’t done so yet, your restaurant should be issuing a statement on what your policies are and how you are protecting them. Clear communication and being open to questions will help a lot and may even show up in consumer experience feedback.

3. Offer food delivery and take out options.

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Any restaurant looking to improve the customer experience will need to consider options. This past year has trained customers to expect restaurants to cater to their preferences around delivery. If you aren’t already using food delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats, you may fall behind. Even when the pandemic is done, customer satisfaction may still depend on whether or not you offer these services. While no one can entirely predict how the pandemic will have impacted the entire industry, few would argue that restaurants and eateries and how they deliver meals won’t be impacted permanently. Now is the time to explore options if you haven’t yet if you hope to keep up with the competition.

4. Communicate clearly and stay consistent.

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You won’t need a focus group to know your customer service is going well if you keep the lines of communication open. Too many businesses make changes to policies, plans, and even menus without alerting their customers. Signs on doors and at counters or hostess tables can go a long way in helping a customer know what’s going on and the ways you’re working to serve them. Perceptions are everything and if you are doing a lot for your customers but they don’t know it, you are doing both them and you a disservice.

When all is said in done, customers are looking for a clean, professional experience that tastes great, too. With a few changes and a listening ear, you can make all the difference in whether they return again and again to eat with you.

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