"A great restaurant is one that makes you feel like you are not sure whether you went out or you came home and it confuses you. If it can do both of those things at the same time then you are hooked…" - Danny Meyer
That is exactly what a restaurant should do! For owners and managers of restaurants, if customers are not second-guessing themselves on where they actually are then something is definitely not right.
The opening quote magnifies the need for a restaurant to serve as a home to its customers. Homes are more than buildings that people live in.
Homes abound with love and many memorable occurrences. Homes are places of comfort, of refuge where one winds down from the stress of life and that is what a restaurant must be, a home.
For a restaurant to attain that status there are certain criteria it must meet and these can be derived from tracking certain key customer experience indicators.
We all have that family member, be it our mother, grandmother or auntie whose cooking is to die for and we are excited anytime they cook a meal for us. They have that secret recipe and once we taste a meal prepared by them we instantly know it. The aroma of their meal brings back many sweet memories and we relive those moments all over again.
That is what a restaurant must be able to do. Consistency should be paramount so that the customer is guaranteed the same great taste every single time.
The atmosphere within a restaurant must be serene, welcoming and the waiting staff must be warm. Most of us can identify with the pampering we have received in times past (and continue to receive for some) when the grandparents were around. Knowing that you were going home to enjoy a favourite meal in the most loving and welcoming environment was always something to look forward to, even until date. The cosiness of eating in a home should be something all restaurants should strive to replicate.
If I am used to coming home to freshly cooked meals then I definitely would not be happy to wait hours for a plate of food elsewhere. Especially a meal I am paying for. I believe this to be the sentiments of every customer who goes out to eat. Food should be well prepared and served under the most hygienic conditions but this should not take 2hours. If a customer has to wait too long to eat, that will be his/her last meal at your restaurant.
Consistency should be paramount so that the customer is guaranteed the same great taste every single time.
Customers usually have many issues with pricing but the truth is even for the meals they eat at home they do pay for. So why the fuss?
The secret is that customers place premium on the quality of the meal served, the environment they are enjoying it in and the service time. If all these are excellent, price will not be an issue.
However, if pricing is done with the mindset of that for a household, restaurants stand to have competitive advantage in their operations.
When these above indicators are considered critically, they have the ability to transform the operations of any restaurant.
The best way to track these key customer experience indicators is through the feedback of customers using well developed but simple to use feedback tools.
iReviews Ghana Limited offers a tool that allows all these indicators to be tracked and translated into very meaningful information for restaurants to give their clients that experience they yearn for.