6 Tips to improve your front of house restaurant
Tips / 04.02.2020
If you’re an entrepreneur with a love for food and are looking to open up a restaurant that showcases your creative flair, style and culinary delights, this blog post is the perfect starting point for you!
In it, we cover six tips on important things you need to know about the front of house restaurant operations to keep your customers happy and have them coming back for more.
Keep reading for our handy tips!
1. Planning the layout
The front of house of a restaurant is the area that the customer sees and experiences when they visit your location.
It creates the very first impression of your restaurant.
Therefore, when setting out your restaurant business, consider creating a comfortable atmosphere with a well-thought out layout that will make it convenient for your customers to access rest rooms, for waiters and hosts to walk around, and general aesthetically pleasing floor planning and table layout.
When considering how to lay out your restaurant, keep in mind ease of movement, flow of customers, flow of staff and sufficient space for everyone to move.
Have your restrooms easily accessible, but not so close to the diners as to prevent them from enjoying their food.
Likewise, the music – whether a live band or a well-chosen playlist to play through your sound system, comfortable seating and all the right restaurant accessories will create a solid ambiance.
2. Training your staff and providing a superb customer experience
It goes without saying that apart from the exterior look of your restaurant, your service staff are the face of your business as they are the people with whom your customers interact and have their customer experience.
A smiling host or hostess that welcomes each new guest with warmth and who makes them feel special will make a strong and lasting first impression that could lead your customers away from your competition.
A final point here is the consistency in your service.
Being as consistent with your front of house services just as you are with your food offering will lead to strong brand awareness and greater client recall.
3. Technicalities and equipment
You’ll also want to consider what theme your restaurant will follow.
Will you be offering Italian food or Spanish, Korean, Indian or something else? Each of these styles has their own associated decor and equipment.
This is especially the case with Korean restaurants which offer barbecues.
You’ll need to get the right technical equipment in your front of house restaurant and make it aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
Remember that the front of house is the part of your restaurant that the customer interacts with and allowing them to have a seamless, memorable experience will ensure repeat customers, more sales and ultimately better profits.
4. Stocking your front of house restaurant
Your bar, if you opt for one, is another element that’s part of your front of house in your restaurant.
This is especially the case if your bar also doubles up as your waiting area.
In order to keep waiting customers happy, you’ll want to ensure that it is sufficiently stocked with the right drinks and snacks to cater to your clientele’s culinary needs.
Also make sure that you have specially picked out staff to run these restaurant zones efficiently and with a smile, so that waiting customers don’t become grumpy and eventually wish to leave your establishment due to long waiting times and possibly queues.
As a final pointer here, remember to plan your stock and place higher orders for special holidays or if you’re organising special events when you’re expecting higher foot traffic.
Being organised in this way will help you address any stock shortages and allow you to meet increased demand head on.
5. Incorporate tracking and reporting systems
Next, a great idea for keeping track of inventory, sales and bills in general is incorporating the right software to undertake thorough tracking and reporting.
From tracking salaries to costs of products, waiter tips and ultimate bills – you’ll need to ensure you have the right programs to help you with this undertaking so that you can manage your finances effectively.
Luckily, there are many tools on the market with integrated payments/billing/inventory management solutions to help restaurants like yours keep track of all income, expenses and even tips received by waiters in real time.
6. Managing complaints
As mentioned above, training your staff to offer the best customer experience is crucial for the success of your business.
This is how you build loyalty, get recurring customers as well as recommendations. Put in place a system to manage complaints as and when they happen so that they are sorted out immediately and don’t escalate.
Other tips to consider to prevent complaints include reducing customer waiting times when entering your restaurant, ensuring food arrives promptly, and offering a comprehensive payments solution so that you cater to all types of cashless clients.
Offer your customers the best dining experience
Ultimately, the front of house restaurant is where most of the magic happens.
The kitchen, walk in freezers, offices etc (also known as the back of house restaurant) is the other half of the restaurant puzzle and your food offering should, of course, be of high quality, so that you keep your customers coming back for more.
However, you should definitely not ignore the front of house, as it makes the first impression on a customer and has the potential to make or break your restaurant business offering.
Also important to remember is the customers’ payment experience.
As the cashless society is growing and it’s becoming trendy to pay with cards, mobile wallets and other fancy gadgets such as phones and Smart watches, be sure to cater to these needs as well.
Follow our six tips for creating the best front of house restaurant experience and you’ll be all set for a fruitful and successful venture going forward!
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