In today’s world, customers are seeking out and gravitating towards businesses that offer them superior customer service. And, according to a recent report by Black Box Intelligence, this sentiment has proven to be true in the restaurant industry.
The report revealed that, in 2019, service was the attribute of the restaurant experience that most differentiated top performing restaurant brands based on same-store sales, compared to those that were underperforming. Additionally, the gap in guest net sentiment between the top and bottom performers was greater in service than it was for food, beverage, ambiance, or value.
These findings undoubtedly show that the one thing that separates successful restaurants from the pack is their quality of service. But what exactly links service to a restaurant’s success? Here are a few reasons why service is the biggest underlying factor for winning restaurants and why it’s the one thing that restaurants should continually improve upon the most.
More Incremental Sales
For years across social media and online consumer review sites, connected and empowered consumers have been expressing that exceptional service is the part of the restaurant experience that they are most likely to reward with incremental sales.
Tand to further highlight the impact that quality service can have on a restaurant’s bottom line, here are a few key facts to consider.
- In a textual analysis of over 331,920 online reviews of more than 1,300 restaurant locations, “service” was the most frequently mentioned keyword.
- Seven out of 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.
- A moderate increase in the customer experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues.
- 95 percent of diners would be more likely to go back to a restaurant if the staff catered specifically to their personal preferences, while complimentary extras (69 percent) and seating preferences (65 percent) would also go far in increasing customer loyalty.
Customers want to spend their time and money at restaurants that offer a best-in-class experience and are increasing their number of visits to those that do. Restaurants that focus on continually improving upon this aspect of their business are the ones that are likely to bring more guests through their doors.
Lower Turnover Rates
The restaurant brands that achieved top performing status, greatly due to the high quality of service they provide, are also those that have lower turnover rates at the management and hourly employee level.
As a restaurant’s workforce has an enormous impact on guest sentiment and therefore marketplace success, high turnover can be a major cause for concern.
Beyond that, high turnover is causing restaurants to lose money. The estimated cost of employee turnover averages around $5,864 per person for a typical front-line employee. These reasons make it much more important for restaurants to retain their existing staff members, rather than replace them.
One thing restaurant businesses can do to keep their employees happy, so that they are less likely to leave, is by leveraging technology that helps to make their jobs easier and more enjoyable.
OneDine’s single-source solution, for example, enables waitstaff to be involved in only steps of the dining journey where they best serve the customer and generate the most sales. Designed by people in the restaurant industry, for people in the restaurant industry, the OneDine system:
- Allows customers to send their orders directly to the kitchen, eliminating servers needing to write down orders manually, and giving them the opportunity to focus more on providing superior service for their guests
- Monitors tables in real time, helping servers easily keep an eye on essential details, like order time, wait time, order accuracy, and open checks
- Pairs with wearable devices that send servers and managers instant alerts on service requests, payment verification, and speed of service, improving both their productivity and response time
- Lets customers seamlessly pay for their orders tableside, encouraging much more natural and authentic interactions between servers and their guests
By taking advantage of technologies, like OneDine, that can greatly enhance the employee experience, restaurants are more likely to reduce their turnover rates, and retain the employees who serve as the heartbeat of the customer service they provide and the backbone behind the continued success of their business.
Great service is a win-win for both restaurants and customers.
In addition to ensuring that guests always have superb dining experiences, it also means that restaurants can reap the rewards of incremental sales, lower turnover rates, and essentially, a high performing status that leads to success in the marketplace. Whether you have a large chain restaurant or a small bistro, going above and beyond with your guests is always a winning tactic.