From the business owner/operator perspective, there has been much written and said about the importance of creating that “WOW” guest experience. Many good to great ways for surprising guests have been shared, copied and enhanced within business communities. How many hotels, for instance, serve home-made cookies and coffee in their lobbies and at the Front Desk during check in? How many restaurants have greeters opening the front doors for each new guest? Hospitality businesses strive to find new surprises for their guests, too, in order to avoid being perceived as ordinary.
Being ordinary is not necessarily viewed as a negative from the guest’s point of view as long as there is quality and consistency provided. The guest does not want to be disappointed. The guest does want their expectations met.
This holiday season, many guests will support their local businesses and visit their local restaurants. Perhaps more people will dine out for lunch rather than dinner due to the down economy and high unemployment. Meeting their expectations is even more important as their budgets tighten.
If guests choose to dine in total casualness in a family-friendly atmosphere and at a price they can afford, they may choose the Food Court at the local mall or some other fast-food restaurant. Other guests may choose restaurants that treat them like family with prices that are still affordable. Some guests, however, may choose their restaurant based more on atmosphere than any other consideration.
There is much to be desired in dining without cafeteria-level noise and commotion at any price point. For those guests, some decorum of dress and behavior is greatly appreciated. Dining in an atmosphere conducive to quiet conversation, relaxation, and the enjoyment of a good meal without the loud voices of children who wander or run around undisciplined is their expectation.
Requiring a dress code and certain behavior in your restaurant may ensure that all the guests choosing to dine with you have their expectations met. Enforcing standards of dress and behavior encourages all guests to act with politeness and respect towards fellow diners and the wait-staff. The atmosphere created is seldom ordinary and may reduce the potential for accidents.
The “experience” is critical to building your customer base and driving revenue. You are in business to make money, succeed and stay in business. Ongoing success requires consistency in delivering your customer experience.