Are Your Servers in the Know?
Everyone has their own pet peeves when they dine out. With so many great restaurants to choose from, these little things can tip a diner’s decision of where they are going to go and whether or not they will return as a loyal customer.
Part Two of this series focuses on getting recommendations from servers. (Don’t forget to read Part 1: Split It Up Or We’re Breaking Up).
I’m definitely the type of diner who looks at online reviews, the menu and food photos before I go out to eat, or I ask friends who have been to that restaurant to hear what they liked. I like to know what other people have enjoyed and get a good idea of what I’m going to order, even before I’m in the restaurant. But I always end up having a hard time choosing between two or even sometimes three items on the menu.
How do I make this difficult decision? The obvious choice is to ask someone who should know: the server. But in more cases than not, they don’t always know their own menu, and sometimes they have only eaten one thing off the menu. This might not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things but think about the impact your servers can have if they do provide suggestions. Besides possibly upselling and personalizing the experience, I’m always a little weary of a restaurant when my server hasn’t (or won’t) eat the food there.
I have tried dishes and cocktails that I never would have tried because of a server’s suggestion. And because I chose one of those items, my experience was far better than it would have been had I gone with my safe choice.
It’s also important for them to know the menu so that they can describe it to customers. Is it very spicy? Filling? Is there an extra something that makes it special? Having a server who can answer these types of questions and be passionate about their suggestions can truly change a customer’s experience. Besides, if they haven’t tried it, why should I? We’ve talked before about getting on a personal level with customers and this is another great example of how to accomplish that.
Servers should be trying the dishes, especially specials. If they haven’t tried it yet, then they should ask customers what they thought so they can share that with future customers. The best recommendation comes from those who live and breathe it every day. And bad experiences can result when the person customers depend on for answers doesn’t have the answers.
Want to see more customer “pet peeves” in this series? Click over to Part 3, where we focus on how little things CAN make a big difference.
And be sure to also read about other ways you may be creating customer disloyalty instead of customer loyalty.