Servers. What an interesting name for someone who owns your customers’ experience. I would suggest they are not just Servers, but they are your brand steward ̶ your walking, talking, billboard-mobile-tv-radio-print ad. Better yet, servers are your businesses destiny. Perhaps that sounds a little dramatic, but when you break down the attributes of a customer experience ̶ food, atmosphere, cleanliness, service ̶ the service weighs heavily into the equation.
Take yourself out of your business and think about the places you visit; what resonates with you? What sticks out in your mind? Chances are it was either the person that picked up the phone, or who interacted with you and helped you; it was the service component of that business. And yet, in most cases, we simply require able bodies to fill this roll. In today’s connected society we stress about an integrated message from LoMoSo (Local, Mobil and Social), promotions and traditional advertising; but, in many cases, we neglect the best marketing tactic we have – our Servers.
I’m not suggesting that we need to change the vernacular of the industry, but I am suggesting that you think of your Servers differently than you may today. Remember, they are your restaurant’s strongest and largest marketing tool. The restaurants that understand their front of the house service team is a critical component of the business are the ones that excel at providing customer service, and not surprising, excel as a profitable restaurant.
It is important to take the time and find the right staff to promote and represent your business and THEN be certain to give them the proper training, apply processes and reward them for being part of your team. I’ve always followed the advice I was lucky enough to receive early on from my mentor in the industry: treat your staff as you would your guests, and do as you expect them to do; it is contagious. After all, you’ve invited them into your life and given them the run of your house. Be sure they have all they need to enjoy their day, so they can spread the cheer.