Article by Aaron Copestake
Account Manager, wannabe food-critic and general nuisance
Do the rounds of prominent industry blogs that break down the essentials of 5-star customer experience and you’ll notice the word ‘feel’ crops up quite often.
And so it should—how many times have you heard the mantra…
‘People forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.’?
If this is the first time, it likely won’t be the last.
Debate rages about the origins of the quote with a couple of figures from history credited as the author—a story for another day. What’s not in doubt is the validity of the overarching message.
You might recall recent blog output making mention of a landmark Deloitte study revealing the 5 factors that make for a ‘perfect world’ 5-star dining experience.
Let’s try to crack the ‘build a cult-following’ nut by unpacking Deloitte’s big 5 in the context of the growing restaurant-tech trend that’s revolutionising how restaurants deliver 5-star CX.
Deloitte’s five virtues of 5-star CX
Applied through team-tech
Deloitte restaurant CX survey – ‘Through guests’ eyes. Serving up a great restaurant customer experience’
1. ‘Hear me’: Listen and cater for customer needs
You arrive—your door-host seats you.
A few minutes later you order a stone-baked pizza informing the waiter of your allergens.
Turns out you’re not too hot on chilli—you ask them to skip the flakes. Much to your dismay, your pizza arrives with flakes anyway.
This has been the first and last time you visit.
Re-run that scenario. This time, with a wearable team-tech layer for ‘voice’.
You arrive—your door-host seats you and asks if you have any allergens. You mention the chilli thing to the door-host. You order the pizza but forget to tell your waiter to bypass the chilli flakes.
Who knew? The pizza arrives minus the flakes anyway.
How? Your door-host is all over it having already updated the waiter about your allergen via their productivity headset.
Magic—you come back two weeks later.
2. ‘Empower me’—Offer real-time info that allows decision-making
After your usual marathon menu-browsing, you order from the ‘specials’ a haunch of venison rested in a bitter cocoa mole. Now just to wait and drool slightly.
Your waiter returns 15 minutes later. You’re out of luck—they’re fresh out of venison. You order again and watch as your partner dives into their mains, leaving you to sulk over your tap water. Perhaps they’ll have the venison next time? Perhaps there won’t be a ‘next time’.
Take 2—menu-browsing over, you order the bitter-choc haunch. Your waiter informs you that the last one was ordered a few minutes ago by another lucky diner and makes a great recommendation that you settle on.
How did he know? The kitchen team gave the entire F&B team a headset heads-up via their kitchen handset as soon as the last venison was ordered.
Magic—your second choice is a smash hit and you recommend this place to friends and family.
3. ‘Engage me’—Be interested, friendly and hospitable
You arrive and ask “do you have a table for two please?”.
“Let me find out”, your door-host replies and trots off leaving you and your partner to goose around unattended.
And with wearable team-tech enabled? So, you arrive. This time your door-host *asks you*. “Good evening and welcome. Table for two? Can I take your coats?”.
First, he/she clearly feels motivated enough to engage you. Second, they knew of table availability via their push-to-talk headsets. That’s a big green ‘engagement’ tick right there and you’re already excited about coming back.
4. ‘Know me’—Remember repeat clients, their needs and preferences
Returning to a favourite eatery for an in-and-out working lunch, you forget to pre-order and explain to the waiter who reassures you of a short prep time. No such luck. You eventually have something in front of you to scoff down.
And if we ‘techify’ the scene? This time, having still forgotten to pre-order (what are you like?), your waiter asks if you’re tight for time and makes some ‘quick and easy’ recommendations.
He ‘knew you’ because… although he’s never met you his colleague—who saw you walk in—has, and gave the new guy a headset push-to-talk nudge that you’re likely on a work schedule.
That’s powerful. They’ve got you for keeps.
5. ‘Delight me’—create ‘wow’ factor moments that exceed expectations
You sit down to your reservation. Your waiter casually throws down some menus and asks if you’d like to order drinks, barely making eye-contact.
*How underwhelmingly routine*, you think to yourself slightly deflated.
And with table-tech?
You sit down to your reservation. Your enthusiastic waiter gives each of you a menu—in hand—and smiles as he reveals you have tableside a VoCoVo Keypad enabling you to summon more drinks, dessert menus, or general assistance via a simple button push. Your request is broadcast as a voice message in your waiter’s ears. No more “garçon!” finger-snapping or scanning the restaurant for eye contact.
Now there’s a delightful idea, if ever you saw one. Naturally, you tell all your friends and are likely to return with them to show off your new discovery.
With a little imagination, restaurants can create cult-following footfall by building the right culture of communication that doesn’t require micro-management and constant oversight. When teams feel empowered and invested-in to deliver a premium service, they’ll do just that… and your customers will reward you with loyalty.