Let’s stick on our ‘restaurateur’ hats for a second.
Even those with zero experience of running a restaurant won’t struggle to imagine the day-to-day challenges that come with the territory.
Because as paying diners, we get a real-time view on restaurant pinch-points and are often at the sharp end of them.
A sticky floor, battered menus, empty salt shakers, glum staff, unwiped tables. The food might be knockout, but already the customer experience has taken a hit.
These are tell-tale signs of a restaurant feeling the wear and tear of endless services that come wave after wave leaving little time for thought and action to address the little things that add up to a big deal.
Even if you’re a people-person who enjoys the buzz of a busy service, you need to feel trained, empowered and valued in order to proudly represent and transmit the brand.
Deny your staff the opportunity to feel valued and you can expect to be recruiting through a revolving door semi-permanently.
In turn, high-labour turnover creates stubborn knowledge gaps and the passing-down of bad habits.
Multiply this by ‘I don’t know’ responses to customer queries, and you might as well smother goose fat on your brand and stick it under the grill.
“Now I see delight….”
So what do teams need to feel ‘valued’ and taken care of?
Thorough training? Would be a good start, right? If we’re being honest, it’s not always possible to equip every single individual with all the knowledge all the time—things fall through the cracks and this is truer still if you’re treading water with a stubborn labour turnover issue.
What if we approach the issue from the customer angle? What do customers need to feel valued and taken care of?
Customer perspective is where we can really get into our stride as experience-providers—because that’s what running a restaurant is—you’re not just delivering food, you’re delivering an experience.
If Deloitte’s handiwork is anything to go by, we see that customers want just 5 things.
‘Hear me’—Listen and cater for customer needs.
‘Empower me’—Offer real-time info to allow decision-making.
‘Engage me’—Be interested, friendly and hospitable.
‘Know me’—Remember repeat clients, and their needs.
‘Delight me’—Surprise with ‘wow factor’ moments that exceed expectations.
Source: Deloitte restaurant CX survey – ‘Through guests’ eyes. Serving up a great restaurant customer experience’
Okay so what’s the ‘light bulb’ moment? How can we get both the staff empowerment and the customer perspective sides of the coin to shine?
“The human voice is the most perfect instrument of all…” –Arvo Pärt
Restaurant tech is nothing new. Many restaurants take bookings via apps, let cancellations be made via apps, and even remind customers about their booking via SMS.
VoCoVo voice infrastructure complements the restaurant-tech layer even plugging into telephone system to bring a step-change in how teams and individuals work and how customers empower themselves to minimise hurdles and friction in the dining experience.
Our Telephone integration
Already helping restaurants reduce the opportunity cost of missed calls and missed bookings by enabling on-the-go, headset call-answering and transfer, from headset to headset. Recent client feedback reports a missed-call rate of 80% slashed to around 20%, and even as low as 12% at some sites.
VoCoVo full duplex push-to-talk headsets
Can connect individuals and teams through voice to create a nervous system across FOH & BOH for rapid knowledge sharing that keeps service streamlined.
With all minds effectively becoming one, you instantly eliminate the potential for ‘I don’t know’ disasters and reduce the need for rushed, last-minute training.
Your team performs with confidence, morale strengthens and your team start to become integral to your brand.
Connect food couriers and kitchen to smoothen takeout pickups and prevent problematic overlap of the in-house/takeout workflows that can pull F&B handlers from where they should be—tending to diners.
A simple button-push triggers a voice message on a chef/team headset, couriers cater for themselves, takeout stays hot and the in-house service doesn’t go cold.
Situated table-side, they give customers remote control of their own dining experience. Want more drinks? Then push the ‘drinks’ button and your waiter will be alerted via a headset voice message. KeyPad buttons can even be tailored to mould around the specific pain-points in any given restaurant.
With even big-name chains scaling back and even disappearing from our high streets altogether, it’s about time the rest of the market learned the lessons and realised the opportunity of cleverly applied restaurant tech.