Delivery is hotter than ever, so restaurants need to evolve with the trend to keep their profits steady and stay relevant. However, many restaurants are experiencing a new challenge: keeping their dining rooms filled as they grow their delivery and takeout business. Restaurants often exist because their owners wanted to create a place for food and fellowship to cultivate.
Chef Anthony Bourdain was famous for saying, “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.”
Sharing that meal in front of the TV is probably not what Bourdain meant. So, how do restaurants get their customers to sit down and stay a while? Restaurant Guru Monti Carlo outlined 10 Things that Make for a Great Dining Experience. We chose five of those things and dug a little deeper to discover how restaurants can amplify these positives to encourage customers to dine-in, too:
- Great Service
Sometimes the difference between a 3-star and 4-star Yelp review is the service. Often a review will start off by saying the food was excellent, but the customer waited 15 minutes for their drinks, their water was never refilled, the waiter disappeared, etc. Part of the fun of going out to eat is having someone wait on you and make you feel special. Even doing the smallest things can make a customer feel valued. When this attention goes away, a customer’s overall satisfaction usually decreases as a result. Keep Cambro pitchers full of water and iced tea in easy-to-reach areas of the restaurant to keep beverages from going empty. While refilling drinks, waiters are given the perfect opportunity to ask customers how they are enjoying their meals and if there is anything more they can get for them.
- Keep Tableware Clean
This may seem obvious, but smudged, water-stained glasses are still seen in restaurants all the time. Most customers are extremely turned off after seeing seemingly dirty glassware and it can quickly put a damper on their experience. Customers might have smudged glasses at home, but they are looking for a pristine environment when they are out and paying for a nice meal. Use Cambro Camracks to make your restaurant a cut above the rest with crystal-clear glassware and spotless tableware. Not only do they protect glassware during washing, but when stacked on a dolly with a cover, they become a sanitary storage closet when glassware isn’t in use. Camracks can be wheeled around and keep your items free from dust, dirt, bacteria and critters.
- Appetizing Pre-Dinner Nibbles
When you get to a restaurant and you’re starving, nothing takes the edge off like chips and salsa or warm bread with olive oil and balsamic. If you’re questioning the importance of pre-dinner nibbles, Buzzfeed has a ranking of the best free restaurant bread, because people need to know. When a restaurant has something free and delicious to nosh on before dinner, customers take notice and sometimes it becomes a factor in their willingness to return. Keep sauces full with Cambro’s shatter-proof and lightweight CamView Camliters. They perfectly hold salsa and olive oil mixtures for easy refilling.
- Well Timed Courses
After greeting a table of customers, waiters can generally get a feeling for the pace they’re hoping to receive their meal. Some people are in a hurry, others would rather take it slow. Keep this pace throughout the meal to make customers feel at ease. When meals are ready to be served, make sure everyone receives their food at the same time with Cambro Camtread trays. Transporting plates from kitchen to table is easy thanks to the trays’ thick non-skid surface, and oval banquet size trays allow waiters to maximize the number of plates that can be delivered.
Bonus: After service, clear tables efficiently with the help of Cambro’s KD Utility Cart. The carts have plenty of room for bus boxes and dish racks, allowing waiters to stack plates and prep glasses neatly. Keep carts hidden out of sight before rolling everything back to the dishwashing area.
- Tidy Restrooms
No matter what kind of restaurant you operate, the restrooms should be tidy. The way a restaurant keeps its restrooms is often a direct reflection of how much importance they place on food safety. A beautiful ambiance can quickly be shattered when a customer walks into a dirty restroom. Instruct employees to check restrooms every hour to ensure they are up to standard.
Ready to kick your restaurant up a notch? Contact your Cambro rep for more information.