1 Jun 2020

3 Things That Make a Great and Safe Restaurant Guest Experience

Today’s COVID-19 climate is undoubtedly making business difficult for many restaurants.

n the face of stringent business closures, restaurants are faced with the challenge of adapting their business models to stay in business and keep bringing in a profit, while they also deal with increased competition. Even with these measures, though, restaurants can still practice safety guidelines and emphasize a great guest experience at the same time. This can be done by offering customers contactless technology options for placing orders and processing payments.

Additionally, what makes a great restaurant guest experience is when the quality of the staff, quality of the food, and quality of technology all line up. Then, the quality of the experience goes up by a landslide and helps you stay ahead of the competition.

Friendly, Welcoming Staff

One of the most important aspects of a great restaurant experience is the friendly, welcoming staff. In fact, a study by Deloitte reported that customers value this across generations. In the study, customers were asked how much they value various elements of engagement by the staff, from simple friendly interaction to addressing their specific needs. Baby boomers, Millennials, and members of Gen X and Gen Z all reported similar results in terms of how important these elements were to them. In short, members of all generations agree that a friendly staff that listens to customer needs and actively addresses them are the ones that the customers write home about—or write a review about.

An amiable staff is what makes a great guest experience in a restaurant. And with the presence of this attitude across many different kinds of establishments, it’s an essential factor that can’t be overlooked.

Well-Timed and Well-Made Meals

As restaurants start to open their doors and operate at 25% capacity in some places, this is important to note. The food is the center of the experience, and quality and timing are essential factors that go into its preparation and presentation. Customers desire consistently well-made food, delivered with well-timed precision between drink orders, bread and butter, appetizers, soup and salad, and the main course to keep the dining pace flowing. Disrupt just one part of the process, and it can give a sour taste to the customer and those they’re dining with.

It’s especially important to keep food presentation in mind, and how it affects your customers’ dining experiences. In this article about sensory experiences in dining, food scientist Charles Spence elaborates on how different things affect a person’s perception of the food’s taste, such as how it looks on the plate, and even what sounds someone is hearing as they eat—for example certain sounds can make food taste sweeter, while other emphasize a bitter flavor.

Presentation, though sometimes overlooked, is an important step in making a great guest experience in a restaurant. As the article states, even professional chefs are jumping on board and exploring how the neurology of presentation can stimulate a restaurant-goer’s taste, both with the food and the atmosphere.

The Right Technology to Streamline the Experience

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Curbside and contactless payments with a tablet point of sale

Today it’s more common for servers or other staff to process payments with a tablet point-of-sale system. This is for good reason, too, since they host a multitude of benefits like streamlining order prep, reducing order errors, and improving speed of services. Sometimes it’s not even in the hands of a server; it can even be fixed to the table so customers can enter in exactly what they want, taking out any guesswork on the server’s part. In this case, make sure you are appropriately sanitizing your tablet touchscreens before you seat your next guest.

These systems are particularly useful if you have trouble with errors when the order comes back to the kitchen. Knowledgeable servers are an important part of the dining experience, and adapting your technology to let customers know that you know what you’re doing can be a big benefit to your business.

Online ordering and delivery options

Some of the best ways to make a great guest restaurant experience is through takeout and delivery. Offering online ordering allows customers to place and pick up their orders at their convenience, while offering delivery takes customer convenience even further. It’s essential to ensure that customers have options to dine as they please; forcing them into one way to dine will just serve to turn them away.

Also, in emergencies such as the COVID pandemic, restaurants can join the frontline and help take some of the burden off grocery stores, ensuring these necessary establishments aren’t overwhelmed. This has been met with lots of success, and customers are coming to restaurants for their takeout, curbside, and delivery needs much more.

Provide Customers with a Safe and Positive Restaurant Guest Experience

The restaurant guest experience is still about customer convenience and providing the customer with the services they want. Now, more than that, it is also about providing customers with the services they need. That means delivering to customers increasingly contactless options for placing orders and making payments, as well as in-house social distancing measures if you’re reopening your doors.

Contact the experts at Touch Dynamic to get your contactless technology implemented or view our product catalog to discover the contactless technology solutions we offer to help streamline your operations, increase revenue, and decrease the spread of disease.