We’ve all had an experience before when a restaurant employee goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide an exemplary dining experience. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to occur all that often – in fact, it occurs so infrequently that when it does happen, we want to tell everyone we know about it. For restaurants, this presents a huge opportunity – the opportunity to stand out from competition and create truly memorable dining experiences.
Just how big is this opportunity? According to a recent study, only 43% of restaurant guests know an employee’s name by the time they leave. This means that more than half of restaurant guests have no name to associate an experience with – this “dehumanization” of the dining experience makes it much more difficult to create a memorable dining experience. These 43% of restaurant guests who remember an employee’s name are 57% more likely to recommend that they will “for sure” recommend that restaurant to their friends.
Any restaurant can make progress toward improving guest engagement. If you’d like to improve guest engagement at your restaurant(s), consider having your GMs stress the importance of the following with servers at your next stand-up or all-hands meeting:
- State your name at least twice during the dining experience – preferably when you first introduce yourself to the table and when you check on the table after their food arrives
- Ask your guests their name – after you introduce yourself to your guests, say it’s great to meet you and ask them for their name. Then, refer to them by name for the rest of the meal.
Having your servers follow these simple steps will improve guest engagement and ultimately lead to more repeat business.