(Source: asiavstheworld via Hearthstone Kitchen and Cellar Facebook page)
The key to any restaurant’s success is the satisfaction of its customers. In order to have a thriving restaurant, it’s important to focus on on the customers who are ultimately paying the bills and keeping the restaurant alive. So how do you keep them not only satisfied, but coming back for more and telling their friends about your establishment? By crafting a truly great customer experience.
Of course, this begs the question: what is a customer experience, and how do you cultivate it? Here, we’ll explore what we consider ten key secrets to offering a great customer experience, so that our customers can leave one of our venues happier than when they arrived.
(Source: Salute Trattoria Italiana Facebook page)
What is a customer experience? First, let’s take a moment to clarify what we mean by “customer experience”. This refers to the entirety of a customer’s experience of attending your establishment, from the moment they arrive at your entry to the moment they drive or walk away.
During this period of time, the customer is to a certain degree the restaurant’s responsibility; that is to say, that the success of the customer’s experience depends, to a large degree, on what the restaurant has to offer. This is a combination of the service, the food, the decor, the noise level, and basically that play into the time they spend at your establishment. A great customer experience can result in repeat visits, great referrals and reviews, and good tips; a poor customer experience can result in a low amount of repeat visits and lackluster reviews, which can stunt the growth of your customer base.
Here, we’ll dish on some of the ways that we strive to give our customers a great experience every time they walk in the door of one of our venues!
(Source: Borracha Mexican Cantina blog)
1. Create a great ambience. When you walk into one of Clique’s venues, we want you to feel as if you’re walking into a different world. Whether it’s the award-winning murals at our Borracha venue or the bright, airy layout of Bottiglia Cucina and Enoteca, we want you to experience a “wow” factor when you enter the room. Thinking out the actual space of the room and decorating it appropriately to the concept of the restaurant and the experience you want them to have will start their experience on a good note.
2. Invest in high quality staff. It’s difficult to overstate how important it is to have a great staff. From the most entry level positions to the management, everyone should be working at their best. To ensure this, it’s important to hire great management to start. From there, it’s a matter of a combination of hiring great staff and offering great training. Both of these things combined can create a positive work atmosphere which allows everyone to function at their best, which is a huge contributor to a great customer experience.
3. Have a great chef. While we’re firm on the fact that having great cuisine is not the entire secret to a successful restaurant, it’s admittedly a huge part of it. The restaurant industry is super saturated and competitive right now, so to set yourself apart, you must have great talent in the kitchen. Each of our venues is staffed with award winning chefs, creative mixologists, and culinary gurus. It’s this creative and carefully crafted cuisine that helps make our venues memorable.
4. Tell your story. Be able to define what makes your establishment special, and be able to clearly convey this to your customers. By offering the story behind your restaurant, the story behind the cuisine, and making that part of the dining experience, you will make customers feel as if they are part of the story. They will not only be more excited about the cuisine and restaurant in general, but it will foster a sense of community and will urge them to become repeat customers to remain part of the story.
5. Put a priority on quality. When customers come to your establishment, they are hoping for high quality cuisine. In general, they’re hoping for something of higher quality than they might prepare in their own kitchen. We like to give our customers what they want by putting a strong priority on sourcing quality ingredients. Yes, sometimes this can cost more, but it ultimately helps us create more memorable meals. It also helps foster and support a better sense of community. This is truly one of those details that can really set an establishment apart.
6. Treat every customer like it’s a special day. When someone walks in your restaurant and declares it’s their birthday, of course you treat them extra kindly. But what if you treated every single customer as if their visit is special? If you do, the results are astounding. We believe that it’s important to make our customer a prized priority, and we train our staff to treat them with respect. Going out to a restaurant is expensive and a treat, and the customers should really feel as if they are being pampered.
7. Have a balanced menu. There are all kinds of diners out there, and you need to have options for as many of them as you possibly can, within reason. This means including some creative options, and some “play it safe” options. Options for kids is always a good idea, too. In recent years, it’s become increasingly important to offer menu options which can be personalized to adhere to dietary restrictions. This sensitivity and perfect mix will contribute to a heightened customer experience.
8. Offer specials. Offering specials can be a great way to improve the customer experience. Special items, whether it’s a one time only affair or a weekly promotion such as our Taco Tuesday special at Libre Mexican Cantina, can help make a restaurant outing feel like an exciting event. Customers love being able to try new things or enjoy new experiences, and as a bonus, it can mix things up for the chef and staff too, in a positive way.
9. Offer entertainment. Entertainment can add a lot to the overall customer experience, when it makes sense in a venue. For instance, at Hearthstone Kitchen and Cellar, we feature live music every Friday and Saturday, which can contribute to the weekend adventure vibe. At Clique Bar and Lounge, our tableside mixology offers an element of entertainment and a cool experience for our customers.
10. Stay true to your mission. At Clique Hospitality, one of our core values is to deliver not just a meal, but an experience. In everything we do, we must stay true to that mission. It helps us make every decision, from entertainment to menu planning to decor. Having and sticking to a mission is vital to creating a great customer experience.
Conclusion: Making your customers feel valued is an investment in the success of your business. As one of the premier Las Vegas Hospitality groups, we we appreciate our customers and want thank them for their patronage by delivering a truly unique and high quality experience.
What do you think makes a great customer experience?