One important thing that I quickly learned as a new business owner is that I will always be learning new things. There is no auto-pilot time. In fact, being on auto-pilot often leads to apathy. Poor customer service is a sign of apathy. We all have experienced less than hospitable service at some point in our lives. While it is simply a first world problem, it certainly can taint a great night out!
I love to cook. Very few things put me in a better mood than a little kitchen therapy. But lemme tell ya. There are times I just want to set down to a pretty table with Pank and be served. There is a fine balance with great service. Communication is such a key to success. It starts with the restaurant’s vision communicated effectively to staff. By having a great line of communication, you will empower your staff. They will be more likely to treat the business as their own. This means your customer will have a great experience. And you guessed it! That happy customer is going to tell the world how wonderful they were treated at your restaurant.
Servers, communication with the customer does not mean telling your life story. However, it is fun to have a little bit of small talk. The customer doesn’t care that the last table left you a tiny tip. He doesn’t need to know how deep in the weeds you are. She can’t stand to smell the cigarette you just smoked before coming back from your break. Instead, offer information on specials and the perfect wine pairing before being asked. Make sure each dish looks great before you bring it to the table. Ask yourself “would I like to eat what’s on this dish?” They also would love it if you stopped by to ask how they were enjoying their meal. Most servers know this kind of thing. You are paid commission based upon the service you provide. If the service is not delivered, why would anyone expect to be paid? Sometimes, this little question becomes an enigma.
Here are just a few of my favorite local brands. I love their attention to service. While not all of them are industry related, they certainly offer a lot of inspiration.
- Emma When I was creating my first newsletter; I got a little stuck on something that seems simple now. Patrick was my hero. He walked me through the process. I may get stuck again, but I know he is ready to help me. Oh, and I don’t feel stupid.
- Woodland Wine Merchant Will and his staff knows their wines. I can go in there and tell them what is on the menu and the wine budget and they pair it perfectly every time!
- City House Nay Lawd, Tandy and his kitchen staff can cook! Sit at the bar and Alisa will make you feel at home!
- Nicholsons Cleaners Linda and her staff is just plain precious! Sometimes they even have our cleaning hanging before I even get out of the car!
- 1808 Grille The food is great. The service is outstanding!
- Crema Talk about communicating a vision! Rachel and Ben are great communicators in their industry. They give a damn and it shows!