A restaurant’s success is not based solely off the quality of the food, rather the entire guest experience. When visiting a restaurant, a guest relies on their sense of smell, taste and sight to dictate their experience. Guests consider the atmosphere, cleanliness, service and food when thinking about their visit. The experiences had at a restaurant reflect the reviews and the overall success of the business, making it vital that all aspects of the business are properly maintained. An opening of a restaurant is an ideal time to ensure all necessary logistics and staff are aligned to ensure a favorable guest experience.
Things to Consider When Opening a Restaurant
Opening a restaurant has many moving parts from training new staff, finalizing suppliers and vendors, and setting the menu. With so much to look after prior to opening, these steps can help ensure a thoughtful guest experience for your opening:
A distinct theme or brand will help differentiate your restaurant from others. A brand/theme sets the tone of your space and will give customers an overview as to what your restaurant represents. The brand should be reflected in the design, furniture, fixtures and overall look of your restaurant.
Guest experience is directly tied to whether they interpret the restaurant as “clean”. If a restaurant appears to be dirty, patrons and guests then associate the kitchen to be dirty. An air care program can contribute positively to restaurants, strategically placing fragrance units throughout the restaurant and especially the restroom will enhance the restaurants overall clean image. A study conducted by the BBC science division noted, people directly link the smell of citrus with being clean. It is important that restaurants demonstrate a clean facility to their customers.
It is important the theme/branding is carried out in the restroom, providing relevant fixtures and products that match the aesthetic of the restaurant. Restaurants looking to provide an enjoyable experience to guests may consider the use of restroom automation such as auto soap, automatic faucets and auto flush that provide a touch-free experience for guests.
Ensuring your staff understands the visions and values for your business is critical. When dining out, guests expect to be well looked after as they are paying for more than food – they are paying for a service and experience. It is important to clearly communicate expectations to staff and how they are to treat customers. Facilitating an open communication channel where staff and management can talk openly amongst each other will allow for greater employee retention and improved organizational culture.
A critical aspect to the success of a restaurant is ensuring you have selected suppliers that can meet your needs. When selecting a supplier, the restaurant’s projected growth should be considered as it is important to pick a supplier who will be able sustain your business’s growing needs. Evaluation of cost and availability should also be completed, as restaurants require suppliers who are available during the off hours for delivery and servicing. Additionally, restaurants should consider suppliers that are able to offer contingencies plans, as sometimes emergencies arise. Ensure that the staff you’ve hired and trained are doing what they were hired to do! Don’t expect a waiter or bartender to also be the one to make sure the restroom is clean. Hire a company to look after your restrooms so you can look after your patrons.
Restaurants depend on the experience they give their customers, making it essential prior to a restaurant opening that programs and communication are put in place to deliver this experience. Owners and management of a restaurant should take advantage of an opening, as implementing changes to customer experience once a restaurant is open for business can prove to be challenging. Considering guests senses of smell, sight and touch into the opening of your business will allow for return customers and positive brand recognition.
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