What Still Matters Most? (members ed.)

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July 26, 2006 - Jim Laube is the President of RestaurantOwner.com, an online resource center for independent restaurant operators. For more information visit www.RestaurantOwner.com.

It’s easy to get caught up in the myriad of details of running a
restaurant and lose touch with the human side of what we do.

The fact that you may have a great concept, outstanding food, a good location and the advertising budget to pull new people into your restaurant matters little if your servers or the people at your counter fail to connect with your customers positively, or at least make them feel their business is appreciated. When the human element is lacking, the entire dining experience suffers and your chances for turning “first timers” into steady, repeat customers is seriously diminished.
An old Jewish proverb says, “Don’t open a shop unless you know how to smile.” How many of your people understand the power of a smile? A smile, naturally and instantaneously elevates the other person’s mood. It transmits a universally understood message of warmth and friendship. Smiling at another person also forces you to look them in the eyes, another way to reinforce the value of their presence.

A simple smile does wonders for setting the stage for positive rapport and interaction between your guests and your staff.
Make it a point to help your entire staff understand the power of a smile. A little coaching and gentle reminding in this area can do wonders for raising the mood in your restaurant and make your customers’ feel valued, well-served and more inclined to return.

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