In the restaurant industry reputation matters, and word-of-mouth and online reviews can make or break a business.
According to a Harvard University study, the revenue difference between a restaurant with three stars on Yelp and a restaurant with five stars can be as much as 18%. That means a restaurant with the potential for $1 million annual revenue will lose about $180,000 in sales if their rating drops to three stars.
Additionally, the cost of keeping an existing customer is five times less than the cost to attract a new customer, making customer retention necessary to reduce overhead costs and increase profits. Think about this: A 5% increase in retention can increase profitability up to 75%.
So how can you help boost your restaurant’s reputation?
A restaurant’s reputation depends largely on the quality of service your front-of-house staff delivers. An important aspect of service is how well your staff times their service – there must be a balance between attentiveness and patience.
This is where implementing a POS system comes into effect. A restaurant POS system is crucial for helping staff track their tables more efficiently to improve the flow of service. Servers will have a real-time view of the whole floor, making it easier to multi-task and spend more time improving the customer’s experience.
Finding The Balance Between Patience and Attentiveness
While customers are dining, servers should be mindful of how often they are attending to a table. Though a customer shouldn’t have to fill their own wine glass or ask for more water, these also need to be done with enough time in between so that the diner doesn’t feel intruded upon, according to Wine Enthusiast.
On the flip side, it’s possible for servers to give their tables a little bit too much time to themselves and end up not being attentive enough. Servers should frequently circulate through their assigned section so customers never have to work hard to get their attention.
A POS system with guest management capabilities enables servers to keep track of how long a table has been dining. It can help wait staff slow down to ensure they’re leaving enough time for guests to enjoy themselves and affect how your restaurant delivers prompt service by coursing out meals.
For example, if appetizers and main courses are ordered at once, servers can input all items at the same time and designate first and second courses. When appetizer plates are cleared, wait staff can just press a button to fire the second course.
When restaurants are able to find a balance between patience and attentiveness, they are able to satisfy diners and improve their reputation.
The Answer is Multi-Tasking
To accomplish this balance between patience and attentiveness, multi-tasking is paramount. Servers are not only responsible for the experience of their diners, but also general restaurant operations. When the kitchen needs help running food or other servers need help refilling drinks, wait staff should be able to lend a hand.
Servers should also be able to survey the floor to make sure every aspect of service is running smoothly. With the help of a POS, servers can keep track all their tables’ orders at once and remind themselves what they need to do next before going onto the floor.
For example, perhaps one table has just finished eating dinner and needs a dessert menu, while another has been waiting for their food for a while and should be asked for a drink refill. When servers multi-task, they waste less time running back and forth between the server station and the floor, and spend more time with their tables.
To give customers a great experience, it’s important for servers to perfect their timing. Excellent service should give the table enough time to enjoy their meal without feeling rushed or ignored.
When customers have a great dining experience, they are likely to spread the word and return for another meal. Restaurants with superior service will see more new customers coming in, more loyal diners, and a boost in profits overall.