Our Take

Musings on the Foodservice Industry

6 Things You Didn’t Know Your Customers Want

The customer is always right. Right?

And you must work hard to distinguish yourself from the competition. How do you make sure the customers always pick you among your competitors?

I bet your restaurant has something unique about it. Customers are drawn by this. They appreciate you seeing a gap in the market. But novelty wears off. How do you turn them into loyal customers?

This question gets harder. Each customer is different. How do you please them all? And because they’re paying for a service their needs become quite unique. Some aren’t obvious. But they’re present in most customers.

Improve these few aspects and your customers will love you. 

  1. Do You Better Their Homes?

It’s not only about the food.

When I walk into a restaurant it must be better than eating at home. Is your restaurant as clean as my dining room at home? Do you make me feel welcome? Experts know customers are the guests and should be treated so. Do your staff members realize the importance?

You don’t have to implement a whole training program. Enforce these guidelines:

  • Simple greetings
  • Smiles
  • Thank you

Here’s your challenge: Can you make each guest feel as if he or she is the only customer in the room?

Difficult. But you simply need skills and tactics:

  • Don’t make customers wait too long
  • Don’t serve cold food
  • Always be attentive

Why go to these lengths. A happy customer is your best source of referrals. That’s free advertising.

  1. Skilled Staff

Customers are excellent judges of character. They pick up on nervousness instantly.

Unskilled staff may seem nervous and unsure. If your staff members are nervous while doing their tasks it makes your patrons wonder:

  • Is the food fresh?
  • Did something happen to the plate of food before it arrived at the table?
  • Does the chef know what he or she is doing?

Your staff showcases your brand. What message do they currently portray?

  1. Advanced Technology

Yes you have to move with the times. This is what a high level of technology tells your clients:

  • You offer convenience
  • You’re organized
  • You’re smart

All of this through technological features.

Can you afford not to have this reputation?

Don’t see this as an unnecessary challenge. Advancements in technology can be fun. And they benefit your business on many platforms.

  • Fast Wi-Fi helps you do business better
  • Quick POS system means you can serve more customers in a shorter time
  • Online ordering connects you with clients who aren’t even on your premises
  • TV screens that show order status keep clients calm and informed

Society wants to be part of the best and newest features around. Are you the best item around? This is how you set yourself apart from competitors. 

  1. Diverse Menu

Don’t think your signature dish will keep drawing customers. Clients quickly get tired of products. Current society bombards the public with options. How can one item keep you at the top of their favorites list?

Diversity is key. You must also consider a customized menu:

  • Let them opt for bread or no bread
  • Offer different types of meat
  • Do you cater for religious preferences?
  • Make sure you have various payment options

Diversity communicates you care for people’s preferences. And that’s what people look for these days.

This is how you can become the Steve Jobs in the restaurant industry. 

  1. Reviews

You’re probably used to seeing reviews online. Every website has them.

Does your restaurant have them?

Why do reviews draw more customers:

  • The public demand the best service their money can buy. How will they know which restaurant to trust if they don’t hear from other patrons?
  • Customers trust other clients’ words more than your marketing material.
  • Reviews tell customers about popularity. And they want to eat at popular restaurants.

Make it easy for your customers to give a review to build your reputation:

  • Use an app
  • Let them rate you via start instead of wasting time writing
  • Ask experts in the industry to give feedback on your business 
  1. Eco Friendliness

How do you connect this with food?

Easy. Environmental issues become more important by the day. The public no longer wants to leave a carbon footprint.

Do you help them reach this goal?

Here’s what matters:

  • Do you use eco-friendly packaging?
  • Does your cleaning team use eco-friendly substances?
  • Do you recycle paper and plastic?

People avoid businesses who don’t act in line with their beliefs. Environmental matter are now a huge motivator of people’s actions.

What do your values motivate them to do?

The food business is built on people’s love for food. But how customers feel about you also determines a restaurant’s success. Look at yourself from your customers’ points of view. Now align your business with their needs and preferences. That’s when you turn clients into loyal supporters.


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