The Little Things That Mean a Lot
At the busiest time of the year, it’s not just things like your impressive decorations and mouth-watering dishes that can affect how happy your customers are this Christmas. You have to give the same amount of attention to the little things.
Take Stock conducted a survey and found from running out of loo roll to not bringing a glass of tap water, it’s the little things which will remain memorable once the tinsel has been taken down. Here are the top 10, straight from the horse’s mouth…
How is your meal?- this question is something customers expect (and want) from waiting staff. However, getting the balance right as to when and how many times you ask is critical! Asking five times can be just as annoying as no one asking at all. Once while eating is sufficient, then again while clearing plates away is enough.
Ignoring empty plates and glasses – one of the biggest bugbears for customers is watching staff walk past their table empty handed and not taking away their finished plates or empty glasses.
Displaying up-to-date information – there is nothing worse than perusing the menu and getting all excited about your chosen dish than to be told, when ordering, that it is off the menu! Make sure all menus or boards (especially specials) are kept up-to-date, and that staff inform guests what is off the menu before they start looking at it.
Time to order – once a customer has been seated, give them enough time to actually read the menu – don’t dash over two minutes later to take their order. No one wants to feel rushed – even when there is a time limit on a reservation – and this way, the customer is likely to order more if they have longer to peruse the menu.
An untidy bar- used glasses stacked high on a bar are a real turn-off. If needed, be polite and tell customers you need five minutes to clean the bar before you serve anyone else. They won’t mind!
Tap water – most customers who order a jug (or glass) of tap water have said they usually have to ask more than once, and sometimes they don’t even receive it! Just because water is free, it doesn’t mean it should be less important than a paid-for drink.
Lack of cutlery – ensure that cutlery has arrived at the table before a customer’s meal has! There is nothing more annoying than waiting for cutlery with your meal in front of you, plus it’s extra work for the server having to rush back to the table when they probably have a million and one other things to be doing!
Salt and pepper – there is nothing more infuriating than having to ask the next table to ‘borrow their salt’ or wait for one to be brought to your table (again, adding more unnecessary work onto the waiting staff) because yours are empty, blocked or non existent. Ask a member of staff to check all before service to save time.
Sparkling facilities – unkempt toilets are the number one turn-off for customers. From no toilet roll to a damp hand towel, these things make a poor impression on customers, therefore appoint a staff member to check them regularly.
Running out of things – having no sliced lemon for your drink or ice cream for a children’s dessert are just annoying. Plan to make sure you have everything you need over the festive season.