I love food, and I believe that our lives constantly revolve around it. Food is not just about sustenance. It is also about culture—every dish carries with it stories and a long history of the place where it came from. Take Cantonese dishes, for example. Every bite is a taste of the 5000 years of Chinese civilisation and culture.
I am so passionate about food that I decided to turn it into part of my career. Just recently, Mon Space Group has opened several restaurants, each with a unique concept. My only wish is to share good cuisines with everyone who loves food just as much as I do.
Of course, it is not an easy feat. Factors that make a successful restaurant include things such as a good menu, comfortable interior design, great chefs, savvy management, and of course, great service.
The food and beverage industry is part of the service industry. As such, it is integral for us to ensure that all customers get an enjoyable experience when they visit. This is an art—every customer we see is a living person, not a machine. Every customer is different, and have different needs and wants. As I embark on my business, I know that a constant lesson that I have to learn is “how to make my customers happy”.
When the restaurants are opened, I also realised that the age group of my customers are different. They used to be 35-45 years old, but now the majority of customers are aged 25-35. Following this trend, we also need to adapt and adjust our service strategies.
This is a time where consumers are more aware of their rights than ever before. Young consumers often have higher demands for quality. Their tolerance for anything sub par has also drastically reduced.
I have personally witnessed, while dining, young patrons complaining about the service at a restaurant because the waiter was not looking into the customer’s eyes while introducing the menu.
This shows a huge turning point in the food and beverage industry. Our branding and services need to adapt to a much younger audience. This entails in-depth understanding of the young consumers. My team and I have come up with a set of guidelines concerning this, and hopefully it can benefit you as well:
1.Interact more with your customers
When I was younger, singing birthday songs and taking pictures in a restaurant is something perfectly normal. These days, however, young consumers with a higher sense of privacy might find these intrusive. I believe that the best forms of customer service has to be learnt from experience. I have learned that young patrons love novel and exciting experiences. Some of these include more relatable interactions, live bands, games or more. Experience is highly valued by young patrons these days. A place that offers good food and great dining experience would definitely be welcomed by young patrons.
2. Design training programmes for your staff
The basis of service is interaction with customers. Things such as looking into a customer’s eyes while talking to them and maintaining a smile are all basic SOP. Nevertheless not at people are able to translate this knowledge into action. Before I opened my restaurants, I ensured that all the staff are trained in proper customer service and etiquette.
These may sound basic, but they are not easy to execute. It is important to note that its not just the customer base that has become younger, the employees we have are also comprised of young people too. They might not have much working experience, and not trained to handle difficult situations. They might even risk looking foolish if the do not know basic dining etiquette. Through training programmes, we can ensure that our restaurants’ employees are well equipped to serve.
3. Observe the needs of different age groups and identify the most important person at the table
Every restaurant should know that every customer have different needs. Their desires may vary according to age, gender, career and personality. If you observe closely, you will realise that every table has a key person. If you can serve this person well, every one else would be easier to please.
For example, when parents bring their children to dine, servers should first try to make the kids happy. That way, the parents would find it much easier to enjoy the dinner too. If they brought someone elderly, then the servers should prioritise the elders. These are details that put our service a notch above everyone else’s.
4. Never not reject immediately
I have come across this situation: a customer requested to switch out the sauce in a dish to a different kind of sauce. The server knows that the restaurant does not provide this, so he politely said so. As polite as the server was, the customer was still unhappy anyway.
I have learned that in situations like this, the first response should always be: “let me try and do something.” Even if you really are not able to fulfil certain requests, at least offer something else and show that you are putting in effort. A direct “no” does not play well with customers. If you show effort, most customers would understand and would appreciate that you are trying to make their dining experience the best one possible.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]餐饮顾客年轻化 4巧思抓住年轻客群的心