Welcoming Well


Welcoming Well

Photo of a restaurant taken from outside

Reviewing two years of Mystery Visit data revealed that hotel welcomes have consistently been scored higher than casual dining restaurant welcomes. Hotels also demonstrated a higher Net Promoter Score, suggesting the quality of the welcome does affect the likelihood of recommendation. Take a leaf out of the hotel book & upgrade your welcome with a few quick tips:

1. Engage instantly

The pace of service is hugely important for guests. Even when not in a hurry, guests have no desire to wait around for staff. Once the guest is at the table you can establish an appropriate pace for service, but first, ensuring your restaurant team acknowledge guests immediately boosts the perception of your business right at the door.

2. Greet guests personally

By “personally”, we don’t mean by name – though this should be a matter of practice for guests who have booked in advance. A personal greeting means going beyond the generic. “Hi, table for two?” might technically be a greeting, but it’s unlikely to make guests feel particularly welcome.

3. Get guests inside

If a table isn't quite ready for a booking, escorting guests to the bar, providing snacks or offering parties with children an activity pack for entertainment can help to show they matter, even before they have sat down at their table.

4. Tailor the visit to them

Are they there for a quick lunch, or are they unhurried? Do they have children that might need entertaining, or are they a couple on a rare night out? Read the guests as they walk through the door, and use this to begin personalising their visit.

5. Start building rapport

If all goes well, the welcome should be reasonably short, but never abrupt. Make the most of the time you have at the door and on the walk to the table to begin building rapport, engaging them in casual, friendly conversation.

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