Industry Research shows that a key factor in securing repeat business is engaging with customers, thus helping to ensure positive word of mouth referrals. For instance, of those surveyed 57% would be “for sure” likely to recommend a business if they identified a specific employee for recognition. This level of guest-to-staff connection is something money can’t buy.
What better way to engage guests than to showcase your team (and their talents) in order to connect with customers?
Great guest service relies on positive guest relations. Look for personable, approachable staff. If you can easily talk to them and make a connection within the first few minutes of meeting them, chances are your guest will to. Train staff to not only offer great service (knowledge of menus, serving techniques, table prioritization, and the like), but also prepare them with practical solutions to deal with difficult situations (i.e. an unhappy guest) promptly. Also, create loyalty programs that reward guests for their patronage and recommendations.
Another measure to obtain a great guest-to-staff connection is tapping into your talent and devising unique, engaging promotional events that showcase their expertise, passion, and presence.
As restaurant consultants, we’re always looking to offer clients innovative ideas on how to engage guests to better their business.
Recently, we devised an event for a client centered on a look “behind the scenes” of their award-winning bar & beverage program. The event featured their dynamic Beverage Director and his team of personable, passionate bartenders not only offering guests ingredient and technique tips to creating three of the restaurant’s most popular cocktails, but the evening also included some fun-filled guest participation and Q&A, program and cocktail conception back stories, as well as sumptuous dishes paired especially for guests to enjoy with their cocktails. Overall, the evening was an engaging success story! So much so, that our client asked us to help them create more events for their guests (and staff) to enjoy.
Bottom line: utilize your staff and showcase their talents to engage guests in order to up your positive word of mouth and better your business.
*VSAG Beverage Director, Jon Arroyo, and team welcoming guests to our client’s “Behind the BARn” event at MoCo’s Founding Farmers.