The Key to Exceptional Service


Restaurants try to provide exceptional service to everyone, but great restaurant managers know that one size does not fit all in this business. Think about the different reasons people visit restaurants. They vary a great deal, from quick lunches to business meetings and from date nights to family celebrations. These days, many people are just going out to eat to get out of the house!  

People often choose a restaurant to visit based on the reason for going out. A favorite restaurant, the local lunch spot, and the new place in the neighborhood all serve different needs. That’s the key to exceptional service – customized experiences. Everyone’s needs are different, but it may be that your employees haven’t thought about it that way. Ask them why guests are eating in your restaurant. You’ll probably hear:

  • Great food.
  • Good service
  • Atmosphere
  • Friendly employees
  • Location
  • Price
  • Value
  • Unique décor, and so on.

Customized Experiences = Exceptional Service = Loyal Guests

Those reasons may help decipher why guests choose one restaurant over another, but they don’t tell the whole story. To deliver exceptional service, it’s important to discover what guests need and want. Asking questions provides this information. Your restaurant training should include strategies to help employees determine those needs. Questions help servers – and even host staff – determine if guests are first-time diners, regulars, in a hurry, celebrating a special occasion, and so on.

As a manager, you should also be asking questions to get to know what your guests need and want. As you work the room, avoid the “How is everything?” generic greeting and instead ask specific questions about the guest experience. Take the opportunity you have at a table to get to know your guests and, most importantly, invite them back for a repeat visit.

You and your staff can deliver customized experiences for your take-out customers as well, especially those whose orders are taken over the phone. Even if the only time your staff interacts with customers is to drop their order off curb-side, you still have an opportunity to proactively plant the seed for their next in-person or takeout visit. Use the take-out bag as a delivery mechanism for showcasing how your restaurant can serve a variety of dining needs. 

Restaurant Training to Deliver Exceptional Service

Our restaurant service training follows the Service That Sells! Cycle of Service, breaks down a guest’s visit into separate steps from the moment guests pull into the parking lot until that final moment when they walk out the door. Developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.

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