Does the restaurant or pub you have just taken over suffer from a bad reputation?
Is it dirty, tacky, or just run down?
You won’t attract the right customers if you don’t have the right image.
But the good news is, image problems can be fixed.
Below are some things to consider about the image of your business.
✓ What is the exterior of your restaurant, pub or hotel like? Is it clean? Is it welcoming? Is it well maintained? Is it well decorated?
Sometimes we get so caught up in the problems of running a busy business that we forget about the basics of what the customer wants.
Take a moment to have a real look at the exterior of your business. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and walk up to the front door of your business. Would you like what you saw if you were a customer?
These first impressions can make a difference between someone choosing your place, or the business down the road that has spent some effort on their exterior.
✓ What is the interior of your restaurant, pub or hotel like? Is it well laid out? Is it tidy and clean?
Continue with your customer journey and now walk through your business. Is there anything like post or parcels messing up your front desk or front area? Customers seeing this mess will immediately begin to question their decision to come inside. A mess in an area that is easy to keep tidy will beg the question, ‘what must the kitchen be like?’
✓ How good is your customer care?
Are your customers welcomed like long lost family members, or are they an inconvenience to your staff? If someone is grunted at, rather than welcomed, they’ll already be wanting to walk out. You’ll need to do a lot to rescue the situation and get them to become repeat customers. A smile and a warm greeting costs nothing. A walk out and bad reputation costs a lot more.
✓ Do you offer good value for money?
People are happy to pay for good food in great surroundings. They hate to be taken for mugs. Ask yourself if you offer good value for money or are you maximising profit at the cost of customer satisfaction? Customers will pay once, but they won’t pay again.
✓ How do you treat your staff?
In a busy kitchen and restaurants, mistakes will happen. Never, ever, demean and blame staff in front of customers. It creates a bad atmosphere and embarrasses everyone involved; you, your staff and your customer.
When a mistake happens, focus on putting it right. Your customer will be more impressed with that than by you chewing your staff out in front of them. Then, when you have a chance, talk to the staff involved and find out what happened in a calm and rational manner. Better to have staff pulling together because they like you, rather than being disgruntled because they’re scared of you.
With the image of your restaurant, the old adage has never been more true;
‘you only get one chance to make a first impression’
So make it count.