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Serving up a great restaurant customer experience

Through guests’ eyes

Winning in today’s guest-first environment starts with a solid restaurant customer experience strategy. Explore five considerations for restaurants as they create memorable guest experiences that yield guest loyalty.

Opportunities to improve guest experience

A restaurant’s brand is no longer only about food. If it ever was. Now that quality, value, sanitary, location, and staff are table stakes—requirements that every restaurant should meet for guests to consider it—the ability to deliver consistently engaging, memorable experiences that drive a connection to the brand at every touchpoint.

What are the emerging elements of the restaurant customer experience that matter to your guests?

  • Engage me. Interact with me in a friendly, authentic way. Be hospitable and genuine with me. Treat me as a person.
  • Empower me. Give me the ability to customize to my specific needs. Value my feedback and respond in an appropriate way.
  • Hear me. Demonstrate awareness of the situation and acknowledge my needs. Listen to my unique needs.
  • Delight me. Create moments beyond my expectations that I will remember and share. Personalize my experience.
  • Know me. Remember me and my preferences. Anticipate my changing needs.

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Is this restaurant customer experience strategy for my guests?

It may be easy to look at some of these responses and say that they might not fit for your guests. But we have seen that the importance of each experiential element is consistent regardless of age, income, region, and gender. This means that no matter where your guests are or who they are, their expectations are more similar than you think. Click the tabs below to explore the importance of each experiential element.

Tackle the guest experience challenge

For restaurants in this competitive, fast-moving space, differentiating on these new and evolving experiential elements will likely separate the winners from the losers and being able to engage, empower, and delight guests won’t be a nice to have, it will be the new table stakes.

So where do you start? How do you tackle this guest experience challenge quickly, without biting off more than you can chew?

  • Gather data about your customers, turn that data into insights, and place those insights into action.
  • Enhance your capability to leverage digital technologies to help the right data reach the right hands at the right time.
  • Develop the capabilities to engage the frontline to make fast, high-touch changes.

You already know how to make guests feel full. Now the challenge is to make them feel engaged, understood, and wanted.

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