What makes a customer loyal to your restaurant? Of course, there are many factors that go into this but ultimately, they’re coming back for the experience and the food. Customers want dependable quality and presentation every time they walk into your restaurant. Having a consistent experience builds trust with your customers and creates a positive reputation for your restaurant.
A negative experience in your restaurant, whether it’s the service, food or atmosphere, is a case of inconsistency. How are you managing the consistency and quality at your restaurant? With technology, you can outline better processes to make each guest experience excellent. This article details the tools you need to turn diners into loyal customers.
Guest Management System
We’ll start with the front of house. Your host stand enables you to make a strong first impression. Having a guest management system allows you to provide a personalized and memorable experience before your guests walk through the door.
Here are some of the features to look for in a guest management system to provide a consistent customer experience.
Efficient Table Management
With a powerful guest management software, you’ll have the ability to build custom floor plans that’ll help you assign servers to stations, manage rotations, and organize shifts. When you apply these table maps across several restaurant sites, you create a consistent look and feel that customers will notice no matter what location they are dining at.
Dependable Wait Times and Reservations
For a hostess, quoting accurate wait times and managing online and call-in reservations can be difficult. Digital waitlist and reservation management allows you to provide guests with precise times and availability based on the current volume of your restaurant. These consistent touchpoints between your restaurant and guests help build long-term relationships.
Below are a few ways that a KDS can improve the quality and consistency of the food you serve.
Simplify the Cooking Process
The kitchen is one of the busiest places of a restaurant, where everyone is rushing to complete their work. Manual processes like calling out orders, printing tickets, and doing mental math can lead to inaccuracies and costly errors. A kitchen display system automates these processes and serves as the central command center. You can eliminate errors like incorrect orders, poor coursing, and long ticket times. With a KDS, your kitchen staff can read between the lines.
Increase Service Speed
You have the ability to send a group of items (entrees, appetizers, etc.) to the kitchen display system all at once. You can set rules based on timing and item ID so that the KDS can easily sort the items to each station. So, if you have a table that ordered a medium-rare steak that takes 7 minutes to cook and a salmon that takes 14 minutes to cook, the routing feature will pace the items, and notify the cook when it’s time to fire the options with the shorter cook times. The result? Each cook can begin preparing the item to ensure the entire order will finish at the same time.
A recipe viewer is a centralized portal to hold all your restaurant’s recipes, prep instructions, and procedures so that dishes are prepared accurately and efficiently. Integrating a recipe viewer with your kitchen display system can have a tremendous impact on the overall consistency and quality of the food you serve.
Here are a few ways a recipe viewer can impact your restaurant.
Accurate Recipe Information
When a recipe is added or edited, it will be updated from one centralized location. This ensures that recipe information is consistent across all sites. For seasonal/regional dishes and specials, restaurants can choose which stores get certain recipes. This is important if not all your sites have the same specials.
Consistent Food Quality
Your dishes should look and taste the same every time. With a recipe viewer, you provide the instructions on how to prepare the dish. The best part is that a recipe viewer trains employees so that you nail the consistency and quality of each dish, every time. No matter if the cook is brand new or has been an employee for years, a recipe viewer is an vital tool to help your staff master each menu item.
An Enterprise solution is a centralized database application that manages settings for single and multi-unit restaurants. Operators have the ability to remotely access a portal to evaluate what’s going on in your restaurant.
Below are the ways an Enterprise solution can help your restaurant.
Review Restaurant Performance
An Enterprise solution can track important business trends to make better decisions. This can be broken down by front and back of house performance. For your front of house, you could access waitlist and reservation analytics, guest metrics, etc. For your back of house, you can view station statistics, average cook times, etc.
Compare Location Performance
If you have multiple locations, an Enterprise solution allows you to easily compare performance, helping you to ensure you are providing the same consistency and quality across all sites. You can compare daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly performance at each of your sites.
Let your guests enjoy their experience without encountering any surprises. Each of these tools can make your overall operation run smoother and make your job a little easier. Most importantly, you’ll provide the consistency and quality your restaurant needs to keep customers coming back.
About the Author:
Lee Leet is the founder, president, and CEO of QSR Automations. Since 1996, Leet has driven QSR’s strategy and growth, creating industry solutions and advancing the company mission of restaurant innovation and empowerment.