The Cycle of Service breaks down a guest’s visit into separate steps, following the guest experience from the moment guests pull into the parking lot until that final moment when they walk out the door. The initial contact guests have with your restaurant sets the stage for their entire visit. You never get a second chance to make a first impression! The first two pieces in the Cycle are Making Guests Feel Welcome and Greeting & Seating Guests. You can provide exceptional service in these parts of guest experience by implementing comprehensive host staff training.
Making Guests Feel Welcome
Following the guest experience, the first impression they’ll make of your restaurant is of the parking lot and outside entrance, followed by your inside entrance. If guests don’t like what they see, they may simply move on to your competition. Every time you get to work, look at your restaurant from your guest’s perspective, keeping an eye out for anything that might reflect negatively on the restaurant.
The appearance of you and your employees is also a critical contact point with guests. Having a neat and clean appearance will inspire confidence that you care about areas of the restaurant your guests can’t see – like the kitchen. Always dress appropriately for your position, and check your employees’ appearances as well. Be clear and consistent when enforcing dress code requirements.
Greeting & Seating Guests
Your host staff training will make or break the second piece in the Cycle of Service. For hosts to set your restaurant apart from the competition, their performance needs to go over and above a simple greeting. This starts the second guests walk through the door. Train hosts to keep a tidy station and make sure menus are clean and ready to go. Hosts should always make eye contact and smile when greeting guests. After the host’s first interaction with guests, one of two things is going to happen. Either guests will be led to their table, or they’ll have to wait. Either scenario represents another time for your hosts to shine. Train your host staff to “sell the wait” by putting a positive spin on wait times.
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