4 tips to improve your restaurant’s service quality (part 2)
See part 1 here:
3. Be flexible
It’s one thing to put such principles into practice at smaller, independent restaurants. How does a chain ensure good service — say, one like the Cheesecake Factory, where the official corporate mission is “to create an environment where absolute guest satisfaction is our highest priority’’?
Cheesecake Factory in Jacksonville. Image source: Zanda
In much the same way, says chief operating officer David Gordon. The Cheesecake Factory has almost 150 locations, and the technical aspects of service have been codified into about 20 steps. “There’s the technical side, the steps of service in the dining experience,’’ he says. “How long it should take you to greet the table, to check back.’’
But hospitality can’t be codified. “Every guest is different,’’ Gordon says. “We empower staff to make the right decision in the right circumstance. If that means they need to skip a step or do something differently, that’s OK.’’
(With reference information from Boston.com. Read part 2 here).
4. Take care of your staff
From the smallest neighborhood restaurant to the biggest chain, managers all say the same things are key in ensuring good service.
First: hiring the right people — not always the ones with the most experience.
“I can teach people points of service here if they’re willing and interested,’’ says Nicole Bernier, general manager and wine director of Rendezvous in Cambridge. “But they have to have that hospitality side to them. They have to have a warm presence and a nice smile and be a people person.’’
D’Alessandro says he hires for personality over experience. That’s how Chris Rossetti became a server at Mistral. He worked previously at places like Legal Sea Foods and Armani Cafe, but not in fine dining. “Anybody can be taught how to open a bottle of wine, but not everybody can go up to people and tell them about that bottle and have passion,’’ he says.
Chris Rossetti serves a table at Mistral Bistro. Image source: Boston.com
Second: education and empowerment. Staff members need to know about the restaurant’s food and wine. And they need to be able to make their own decisions.
“My philosophy is to have the server ask me the least questions possible,’’ says Ettore. “We have gnocchi with mushrooms, and we have risotto with scallops. If a customer says, ‘Can I have a mushroom risotto?,’ you shouldn’t have to come to me.’’
Chef Vittorio Ettore at Bistro 5. Image source: WGBH.
Third: training never ends.
D’Alessandro holds daily staff meetings at Mistral to talk over the day’s menu, issues from the previous night, and more. “The most important thing is refining and talking about issues and paying attention to what the staff is doing on a daily basis,’’ he says.
These are some pieces of advice given by professional restaurant managers from famous high-quality restaurant of the world. There is sure a lot more to add, and we at La Badiane are also doing our best to maintain great service for customers. What part of our service impresses you most in the times you were at La Badiane? Let us know in the comment section below. Constructive criticisms are welcome!