One of the most fundamental prerequisites for creating a successful restaurant business is to be able to constantly deliver a standard service to all your customers. This desired restaurant service standard must be fixed by you in your mind. However, you must also explicitly specify and clarify to your staff and employees of your expectations and your service standards from plating, cleaning, and most importantly, customer service. This will leave your employees striving hard and long to meet these implemented requirements.
The loyal customer base that you build or hope to build, can only come into reality by maintaining the set restaurant service standards. As a customer myself, I love walking into a restaurant, already knowing what I will receive, how I will be greeted and treated. The set restaurant service standards must include food quality consistency, quantity and taste, and most importantly, the expected customer service. You are probably wondering, by what means could you be able to ensure that all your employees and restaurant staff are all on the same page and are abiding by the fixed restaurant service standards in place? Continue down below and you will find the best ways to convey your service standards to your team in the most suitable manner.
Basic Restaurant Service Standards That Must Be Followed
It is important to note that service standards for each restaurant differ based on aspects such as restaurant type, format and theme, however, there are some specific service standards and etiquettes which remain as common and basic building blocks for all. One example is the difference between self – serving fast food restaurants and fine dining restaurants where employees are not required to greet and seat guests at fast – food restaurants, whereas it is a must at fine dining restaurants. When it comes to common restaurant service standards, the following are the basic and most important standards followed by all:
- Welcoming the guests with a warm and hospitable gesture.
- Offering guests the table or bar they desire, or waiting area if there is a waiting period.
- Presenting guests with menus and waiting for a few minutes before going over to take their order.
- Assisting the customer in placing their order by explaining the dishes; if asked, and then repeating the order to ensure that no mistakes were made while taking the order.
- Minimizing the delay between placing the order and serving it to the customer, and ensuring that the order is served as soon as it has been prepared.
- As per restaurant service standards, delivering food at the table, and serving it to the customer.
- At different intervals, checking on the customer if everything is alright and if the customer wishes to place a new order.
- Clearing off the table only once the customers are done with their meal or drink, and not before or during.
- Minimizing waiting time while billing.
- Asking for customer feedback about the service and their satisfaction.
- Continuously ensure hospitality even after the customer has paid the bill and is about to leave.
This Customer Service Checklist will ensure that you maintain optimum restaurant service standards and that you deliver an exceptional guest experience to your guests.
How to Maintain Restaurant Service Standards that Will Help Your Business Grow
To ensure that all your employees are on the same page and are delivering the services at your restaurant, you must convey your expected restaurant service standards clearly and in detail to your entire staff. Detailed below are ways which you can ensure that your restaurant service standards are maintained:
- Document the Expected Restaurant Service Standards
Construct a comprehensive report of what is expected of your staff, and all they need to do is follow whatever is documented diligently. For example, list each item on the menu and how it should be plated, even if it means asking your executive chef to demonstrate how the plating must be done. You can even go the extra mile of taking pictures and posting them in your plating area so that the staff never gets confused or forgets.
The same thing applies for cleaning. Create a checklist of staff and place them at the front and back informing the staff of what they need to do. All they need to do is check off the tasks when completed each day.
- Train Your Staff at Regular Intervals
Training is the most important aspect of the success of a restaurant, it can make or break your restaurant. Having a well trained and efficient restaurant staff will play a very crucial role in the success of your restaurant. Do not expect to run your restaurant by simply sticking to the standards that you specified. You need to train any new staff members and continue to refresh the memory of your existing staff at regular intervals.
For new employees, focus on organizing training sessions and provide them with a manual that they can refer to in times of crisis. For current employees, it is preferred that monthly training sessions are organized and conducted, and it is of the utmost importance that you review and update your restaurant manual on a quarter basis. This will optimize your staff’s efficiency and productivity and will keep them updated on your restaurant’s service standards.
- Take a Follow Up at Regular Intervals
Besides documenting tasks and conducting training sessions at regular intervals, you must constantly follow up with your staff and check if they consistently and continuously follow all the functions put in place. Some staff members tend to skip work and take opportunities of loopholes found in the system, which could hold your restaurant’s success back. You must constantly check that your management team and your employees are doing what they must be doing according to their responsibilities because each responsibility is critical to the success of your restaurant.
- Promote Accountability Among Your Employees
Accountability must always be promoted and should always be existent in every restaurant. You will not be able to constantly hold your restaurant staff accountable, especially if you are absent from the restaurant. Therefore, you must have a restaurant manager who will take care of all activities and will oversee operations, and will also hold those accountable in your absence. This will put you in the position of holding your managers responsible for their actions, leading them to be on their toes to ensure that all your restaurant staff adhere to the expected restaurant standards.
Maintaining your restaurant service standards is fundamental to customer retention. Unless you have an entire group of restaurant staff who will relentlessly and tirelessly work to ensure and live up to these set expectations and standards, you will not be able to experience the desired result out of your restaurant.
By Ahmad Hajaj