Secrets for Winning Over Any Type of Restaurant Customer

Bematech Blog - October 12, 2016

One type of restaurant customer is this couple dining at an outdoor cafe.In some ways, the needs of every type of restaurant customer are the same, whether they’re enjoying a meal on the premises or off-premises. For example, customers who are dining in or ordering food for delivery or takeout always want food that looks and tastes great. However, each type of restaurant customer has different priorities that you must keep in mind when designing workflows so you can provide great experiences and top-notch restaurant customer service across the board.

For the on-premises restaurant customer:

  • Create a welcoming atmosphere. Greet patrons cheerfully and respectfully the moment they arrive. Use your restaurant Point of Sale (POS) solution to manage tables so guests are seated as quickly as possible.
  • Make ordering easy. Mobile POS allows your wait staff to easily take orders tableside on a tablet or other mobile device. POS software with a graphical interface allows wait staff to be more conversational during the ordering process and to more easily suggest add-on menu items or pairings. It also lets your staff immediately transmit the order to the kitchen without having to walk to a stationary POS terminal and wait in line to enter the order, which can decrease customers’ wait times and increase table turns.
  • Avoid making customers wait. Schedule sufficient wait staff and kitchen staff to ensure prompt order-taking and turnaround. A kitchen display system can assist the kitchen with timing preparations and making sure everything is ready at once. This technology is particularly useful to help provide prompt service to any type of restaurant customer, whether on-premises or off-premises.
  • Seek customer feedback. Encourage feedback both informally by asking how diners enjoyed their meals, or formally, through surveys. Use the feedback to continuously improve the menu and the service you provide.

To best serve off-premises, takeout and delivery restaurant customers:

  • Offer online ordering. Many customers are embracing online ordering, and an increasing number of patrons, especially teenagers and young adults, are ordering from mobile devices via text message and restaurant apps. Consider establishing a drive-through or reserved parking area for pickup and equip your staff with mobile POS to take payment car side to make ordering meals for takeout even more convenient for your customers.
  • Develop a separate delivery and takeout menu. Some dishes simply don’t travel well and it’s wise to make them available only to dine-in customers. Ensure the takeout and delivery menu, however, offers sufficient variety to accommodate a range of restaurant customer tastes. A very limited takeout and delivery menu can be a significant customer turnoff.
  • Take extra steps to ensure food quality and order accuracy. Package food in sturdy, leak-proof containers that will maintain each item at the proper temperature until it has been delivered or picked up. Instead of using a plain bag for packaging, opt to get your company’s logo and phone number on the package for free advertisement. Keep hot foods separate from cold ones. Provide instructions for storing and reheating food. Using your POS system to label orders can help your staff assemble them accurately and also increase brand awareness for your restaurant.
  • Manage delivery efficiently. People want to receive their food in a timely fashion, and the type of restaurant customer who prefers delivery is no exception. POS systems with delivery management functionality allow you to plan the most efficient routes, combine deliveries to maximize the amount of revenue on each trip, and make sure your customers receive hot, appetizing meals, on time.

By considering the needs of each type of restaurant customer you serve, you can prove the old adage wrong that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Make a concerted effort to meet the needs of each type of restaurant customer you serve to make your establishment a favorite, regardless of whether diners prefer on-premises or off-premises dining.