How to Offer Your Restaurant Diners Personalised Service
After all, restaurant dining is more often a sociable event centred around sharing food with loved ones than anything else. For this reason, it’s important to show every customer just how valued they are with personalised service. Personalised service can win over your restaurant diners and encourage them to come back time and time again, sometimes over years.
You’ll be pleased to know that offering your restaurant diners personalised service doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. It’s just about showing your customers how much you care, which should be the ethos of every great eatery! Here are our top tips for offering your restaurant diners an unforgettable personalised experience.
Greet diners at the door
It’s standard practice to ask your restaurant customers to wait to be seated when they arrive. However, you need to go above what is standard practice to offer a truly personalised service. As soon as your guests enter the building, they should be met with a friendly member of your front of house team. A warm smile and attentive service can set a positive tone for the rest of the evening!
If you can, employ a front of house team who are dedicated to checking reservations and seating diners. This way, your waiters and waitresses can focus on their job without distraction and your diners can receive the undivided attention of your front of house staff.
Remember loyal customers
Great restaurants often welcome back customers time and time again. If you’ve started to recognise some of your loyal diners, take the opportunity to make them feel valued and appreciated by acknowledging them on arrival. Simply saying hello and asking how they have been since their last visit can be enough to show that you’ve recognised them. This simple gesture can go a long way.
A friendly approach towards loyal customers can keep them coming back time and time again, but an even more effective way to say thank you to your restaurant’s regulars is to offer rewards. For example, if a couple dines in your restaurant every couple of weeks, why not take their drinks off the bill one evening? Small rewards like this won’t set your restaurant back financially, but they will be noticed and appreciated by those who receive them.
Offer treats for birthdays and other celebrations
Everyone loves being treated on their birthday, and receiving a free cocktail or dessert from a restaurant feels extra special! Diners will love receiving a small treat and it won’t cost your restaurant much at all. There are many different ways to find out if a diner is celebrating their birthday, such as by asking customers to input their date of birth when joining your mailing list and creating a calendar of birthdays associated with particular email addresses.
There are, of course, other celebrations that deserve extra attention! If you spot a proposal, for example, treating the couple to a glass of champagne on the house can help to make their evening even more memorable.
Ask for diners’ dietary requirements
It can be frustrating for diners with dietary requirements to sit without a menu while everyone else around the table discusses what they’re going to order. Offering separate menus for diners with allergies and dietary requirements (gluten-free and vegan menus are a good place to start) can be extremely helpful to diners, and it can also help to personalise their experience.
As soon as your diners are seated, make sure your waiting staff ask what menus they would like. Immediately, this will make them feel catered to. If you don’t have a menu for their specific requirements, make it clear that you’ll liaise with the chefs to whip up something suitable.
Be ready to offer recommendations
One simple yet effective way to make your diners feel at home in your restaurant is to offer food and drink recommendations. This can make customers feel like you’re truly invested in their experience - a small trick that can go a long way! Not every customer will want a recommendation from your waiting staff, but others will specifically request this. With this in mind, your waiters and waitresses should be ready to offer personal recommendations for your diners to try.
Set tables with fresh tablecloths
Despite the growing number of modern eateries and cafes, many people still seek a traditional restaurant experience - especially for romantic evenings or important business lunches. One great way to offer this and create a homely atmosphere that your diners will love is to set your tables with fine table linen. Fresh restaurant linen, such as tablecloths and napkins can elevate a dining experience and inject luxury into your restaurant while encouraging diners to settle in and relax.
Setting your tables with fresh, clean linen can also make diners feel as if the table has been prepared just for them. Instead of wiping your tables down between diners, laying tablecloths and napkins creates a truly inviting welcome for your customers. This is a simple gesture that can enhance your guests’ experience and make them feel catered to.
Don’t leave diners waiting
Being attentive is key to offering a personalised dining experience to your guests. Small gestures such as checking in on tables to ensure they’re enjoying their meal can go a long way. This can make customers feel more appreciated instantly.
It’s important not to leave diners waiting if they have requests, as they will soon become frustrated. In fact, your guests may not return to your restaurant if they feel like they’ve been forgotten about by your waiting staff.
Interact with diners on social media
Today, many restaurants utilise the power of social media to boost their marketing efforts and attract new customers. Setting up a Facebook and Instagram account can be a brilliant way to show off new menus, take bookings, run competitions and much more, so if you don’t already use social media, now is the time to get involved. Social media also allows you to directly engage with your diners before and after they visit, so it’s a great platform to use when offering more personalised service.
There are many ways to use social media to personalise your dining experience. For example, you may set up a booking system which allows diners to reserve a table online. This way, they can also ask questions about allergy menus and anything else they’d like to know quickly and easily. This is a simple way to open up a direct conversation between your staff and guests.
Ask your chefs to speak to diners
Speaking to the chef responsible for cooking your food can be a novel experience. After all, chefs don’t often interact with guests so it can be fun and exciting. It can also feel very personal. For this reason, encourage your chefs to speak to diners where possible. Of course, busy cooking staff may not always have time to do this, but aiming to speak to a few tables a night can create a great atmosphere.
For example, if you have diners with allergies not catered to on the menu, consider asking your chef to speak to them directly. This way, the diner knows that they have been listened to and appreciated, and your chef understands exactly what ingredients they need to avoid. Don’t forget to dress your staff in the finest chefs' whites to impress your diners!
Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services: Supplying the finest chef jackets, aprons and tablecloths to restaurants and commercial kitchens
Impress your restaurant guests and ensure the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness with linen hire and laundry from Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services. We specialise in supplying quality linen to hotels, restaurants and commercial kitchens alongside eco-friendly laundry services for your convenience. Whether you require professional and comfortable chefs’ wear or matching table linen and serviettes for your restaurant, you needn’t look further than us for linen hire services you can rely on.
No matter your linen hire and laundry requirements, we can supply you with everything you need to impress your diners and prepare your restaurant employees for a day of work. Outsourcing your commercial laundry to Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Services also frees up valuable time for focusing on the most important parts of running your business, all while helping you cut costs and reduce your environmental footprint.
For more information about our laundry services or to discuss our kitchen and restaurant linen for hire, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We look forward to working with you!