Personalisation is key to a positive first impression


Personalisation is key to a positive first impression

Photo of a restaurant taken from outside

Our latest survey has revealed that 83% of diners consider the welcome to be an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ factor in their overall enjoyment of a restaurant visit. So much so, that three quarters of diners (79%) would be deterred from returning after a poor welcome.

Given that, in terms of time, ‘the welcome’ represents a small proportion of the guest experience, how can operators ensure they nail the greeting every time?

Keep it personal

Incorporating an element of personalisation was the highest rated factor of a memorable greeting. Try creating additional conversation or going above and beyond role requirements to avoid giving a robotic welcome.

Consider different demographics

Almost a quarter of diners (24%) aged over 55 felt that an ‘impersonal or generic greeting’ was the most off-putting. Where as the millennials were most put off by not being greeted promptly.

Take inspiration from other sectors

When asked which sectors led the way in making guest feel welcome, hotels (31%) and casual dining restaurants (29%) came out on top for guests. Only 7% and 1% of guests felt pubs & bars and quick service restaurants (QSR) delivered the best welcome, respectively. This could be a reflection on the deeper level of engagement expected from hotel and casual dining experiences. It presents an opportunity for pubs to concentrate on making people really feel at home. QSR's might benefit from focusing on guests individually or incorporating a host into the guest experience, particularly at busy times.

People power

While many operators place their focus on pace and product, these findings demonstrate the importance of people as part of the complete guest experience. Personalisation is an emerging trend we expect to see more of throughout 2017 as diners look for a move from a routine greeting to a sincere and personalised welcome.

A focus on recruiting the right people and investing in their development will encourage genuine welcoming behaviours and memorable guest interactions to encourage repeat visits & convert customers into brand advocates.

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