When it comes to laying out the table, all the pieces matter. It’s no wonder that you can enroll on dining courses that seek to educate pupils in the finer points of cutlery placement and table polishing. You might consider such classes to be unnecessary – a throwback to a bygone era, if you will. However, such attention to detail is only applied to enhance the customer satisfaction.
Admittedly, any customers passing through their local café or restaurant won’t expect a Victorian experience when they come to be seated. Most will look to meet up with their friends, eat or drink over an overdue catch-up and leave as soon as they’ve finished their last drink. During this time, they’ll witness everything the business can offer in terms of customer service for the average Joe local.
Now, restaurants arguably have it easy when it comes to securing repeat visits. They’ve usually got a lot more time in their locker to impress the punters. Along with this, their members of staff will have numerous opportunities to communicate with customers and answer their every need, from a spot of black pepper to the bill. When you’re looking to impress in the café arena, it becomes a little more problematic.
The average coffee catch-up between friends usually won’t exceed an hour, with no more than two products per customer being par for the course. Taking this into account, every little detail must contribute to a welcoming atmosphere for customers to enjoy. Here’s where you start:
Your attitude to running the café will ultimately make or break your business, regardless of how much research you have done or unique products you have sourced. If your customer service is lacking, your customers won’t return, it’s as simple as that.
It’s by no means patronizing to tell staff to show a reasonable level of enthusiasm during their shift. You’ll have customers zipping in and out during the morning rush without a care in the world about the way you present their drink, but most will look for showings of courtesy and basic manners. If you’re quite happy for those behind the counter to frown their way into lunch, hospitality might not be the field for you.
Keep them seated
After the customer has received their drink, the next logical step would be to identify a seating area. They’ve made their investment so there will be no turning back if you’ve only got wooden stools to offer, but leather dining chairs and other forms of luxury furniture are cunning generators of income.
If the customer is sat comfortably, they’re less likely to move away from the seat. They might be tempted into that chocolate brownie and another 20 minutes of conversation, purely because you’ve provided a homely environment for them to enjoy. Whereas any seat deemed unsatisfactory might encourage the group to wrap up their talk for the next time and, more importantly, the next coffee shop.
You should only have one main room to control, so taking care of this area should be easy enough. In terms of the general ambiance in your shop, make sure the room is kept at an adequate temperature.
Don’t skimp on the heating during winter as people will rely on your establishment for a warm-up. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune to fund (portable heaters and coolers can be purchased for a cheap rate) but could make a big difference to the environment your customer enter. Anything a little askew to their liking will be duly noticed and noted, possibly disrupting their positive experience.
About the author:
Kevin Mills started his career as a company executive in Reading area and later relocated in Leicestershire. He is proud father of a sweet boy and happily living with his small wife and son. At present he is working at an international furniture house in Leicestershire and occasionally writes some articles on Restaurant Furniture and Restaurant Chairs