2017 was a difficult year for the hospitality industry as many restaurants closed down or suffered because of difficult trading conditions. To help the businesses adapt to their customers’ needs and hopefully make them succeed, Jon Butler, the founder of Outsauced Hospitality Consultancy and award-winning chef, has shared the key aspects that every restaurant should improve on.
The first one is investing in your employees. Jon thinks that the employees represent a business’ number one asset and are even more important than the customers. Many hospitality-based enterprises struggle with retaining their employees and face ‘short-staffed’ situations. Having said that, it is time for a change in how the industry treats its workers, starting with paying higher salaries and hourly wages.
The employees are the ones that look after the customers and if they are not happy then the customers won’t be either. Offer them an in-depth training and development scheme and make them feel like they are part of the brand. How could they deliver the brand values, quality, and service if they don’t get treated with respect? Think outside the box and show appreciation to the team by rewarding them with a meal out, tickets to the cinema or a voucher; and don’t forget to mention when they do a good job.
Focus on improving the customer experience by paying attention to how customers interact with your business at every stage of their journey. Your restaurant exists online and you have to check every website that displays your company and make sure it delivers the right message, it conforms to your brand, and it has up-to-date information.
The most important thing that could change your customers’ experience in your restaurant is to act on the feedback they give you. Don’t just read the positive reviews and ignore the negatives. Engage with these comments and deliver the change needed.
This year, think about advertising on social media. It is an excellent platform for restaurant and the opportunities presented by this medium is phenomenal, providing businesses with a way to connect with their target market and customers. It can be very cheap to advertise and it will bring returns on your investment. However, it still needs to be used cautiously.