Brand Standards vs Guest Experience


Brand Standards vs Guest Experience

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Brand standards are what enable hospitality businesses to remain consistent and deliver a consistently high standard of service to guests.

Brand standards are important for independent restaurants through to chains with over 400 sites; they help form a brand's identity, which can

boost a brand's reputation and lead to increased customer loyalty.

However, the phrase 'brand standards' has gained itself a negative reputation among some caterers in recent years. These caterers believe that brand standards define a homogenous, almost robotic approach to service. Not ideal when you're trying to provide guests with a unique dining experience.

And so, these caterers have neglected brand standards in favour of focusing solely on the guest experience. Their priority lies not in being consistent and adhering to guidelines, but in ensuring that guests have a memorable experience that will encourage them to return. But, which approach is better? What is more important: brand standards or the guest experience?

Well, in actual fact, they are equally as important. They shouldn't be seen as conflicting approaches to service, but rather as two sides of the same coin which, when integrated with one another, can help to enhance a guest's overall dining experience.

A good set of brand standards support the guest experience. They act as the foundation, setting the guidelines for service so that staff understand what is expected of them. The guest experience part doesn't require training manuals, it requires initiative. The guest experience includes all the little things your staff personally bring to the table (quite literally) to enhance a diner's experience.

Of course, your brand standards will influence the type of experience you create for guests. This means that, when developing the standards, you need to have the guest experience in mind. You must ask yourself: 'what standards can I put in place that will help me to create the ideal guest experience?'

Your staff, as brand advocates, not only need to fit within your company culture and work to the guidelines, but also need to have the creativity and initiative to provide that unique experience for diners. There will be times when staff will need to deviate from standards to keep guests happy - your staff need the intuition to know when those times are.

Brand standards enable consistency, but the guest experience is what your diners will remember your restaurant for. One simply cannot exist without the other, and it is the combination of the two that will set your brand out from the rest.

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