Excellence in the customer experience

Tips Restaurant

Nowadays, consumers have a large number of opportunities and channels to reach the offers of restaurateurs.

If you want to be their only choice, what can you do? 

Ensure an incredible customer experience. 


The culinary world is becoming increasingly competitive. If hanging posters outside your business was enough to attract a large number of customers, it was previously a technique that worked in some cases, now it’s no longer enough, because the customer has changed. 

As is already known, differences based on the originality of the products are no longer a guarantee of success in themselves. However, by focusing on elements that go beyond business strategies, it is possible to find a competitive advantage in the market that you can exploit in order to expand your margin of success. For example, the customer experience is closely linked to the level of consumer participation and is the result of direct or indirect contact with the restaurant itself.

The customer experience, as Manning says in the book “Outside in: the power of putting customers at the center of your business”, can be defined as “the way in which customers perceive all interactions with the company”. At the same time, consumers’ perceptions of relationships with the service depend on different points of contact, such as the physical store, interactions with employees, the communication channels and interactions with consumers.


Customer awareness has changed


One of the reasons also concerns the success of food-themed television programs, which have shifted the focus to exquisite and high-quality foods, and users thus discover new dishes and new ingredients, and become more curious to taste. You are no longer satisfied with the usual “close to home” restaurant, but you want to try the dishes seen on TV and experience a unique and special culinary experience.

Customers don’t just want a good meal, now they expect more.


This new customer awareness has also inevitably changed the method of selecting locations: the internet has made niche venues more sought after and has disadvantaged those businesses that have been spreading their name through word of mouth for years, but which have nothing “new” to tell the public.

What are the building blocks of a great customer experience?

We have identified 5 elements that the restaurateur must consider when he wants to define a successful strategy to improve the experience within his restaurant.


  1. The flexibility and simplicity of the payment methods available to customers.


  1. The same care and attention in the service, regardless of the channel chosen by the customer. The brand identity must be homogeneous and the purchase path must be linear on all available channels, and obviously also within the premises.


  1. Using different management systems for each channel (such as online ordering and receiving orders through waiters or kiosks in the store) can be confusing and negatively impact the overall customer experience.


  1. Personalization of the relationship between the customer and the brand. The key element of an excellent customer experience in catering is also the availability of data on the consumption habits of the public. In order for people to be willing to share their data, they need to be used to provide a tailored experience that addresses their specific concerns and needs. This information management can provide customers with the best experience ever thanks to easily searchable testimonials.


  1. Communication and interaction in real time. In today’s market where everything can be shared with the world through social media, it is essential to have a system that can monitor customer feedback and respond quickly to public changes.


The innovative concept of customer journey

Customers want and need to experience new and unforgettable experiences that don’t start and end at the table, but that start earlier and end much later.


We can identify 4 phases:

  1. Choice: choosing good communication can win the game and help centralize your position on the restaurant market, attracting as many new customers as possible.


  1. The first impression: today’s customers go far beyond the evaluation of the dish or service, the location of the place and the reception in particular are judged, two aspects that are considered essential in formulating opinions.


  1. The menu: it is a tool that, depending on the tastes and other factors, influence the customer in a positive or negative way in the choice of the place.


  1. After: If you think that once you cross the restaurant threshold, the customer experience is over, you are wrong. Because if you have done a good marketing job, establishing a good relationship with your guests, you can get an important interaction from them on social networks, positive or negative; and this is how your client’s “journey” does not end.


All in all, today every aspect is managed differently and is closely linked to the reality of the individual restaurateur. The concept of “customer experience” will not be effective for a long time, there are still many managers who still refuse to adopt a new approach within their premises. Furthermore, there are still too many external factors that would influence consumers’ choices and condition their choices partially or totally.


If we imagine the future of catering services, whatever the interactive channel we choose, we can think that the excellence and success of a customer experience can occur in multiple channels and ways: from restaurant with waiters, to orders to self- service or through the counters dedicated to self-service, or through the restaurant app and the various delivery platforms.

For many restaurants, the future has already begun by the time they have managed to meet the public’s demand for new technological trends, and these technologies are more useful than ready-to-use. Therefore, the real challenge now is to provide a unique, yet more personalized and memorable experience, to match the previous innovation techniques used.

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