When conversation isn't necessary


When conversation isn't necessary

A group of guests sat at a cafe using their phones and laptops

Engaging conversation plays a key role in providing a great guest experience, but it's just as important to understand when conversation isn't necessary. Whilst a warm welcome and attentive staff should be a given, the level of conversation required may vary.

There is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach when it comes to determining how much to chat with a guest. In order to deliver a personalised and meaningful experience, it is crucial for your team to learn how to read different guests and adjust their level of conversation accordingly.

For example, a family might appreciate staff engaging with their kids, while a couple might appreciate the chance to spend some quality time together alone. Additionally, solo diners might find overly attentive staff embarrassing, preferring to simply read or relax without the need to force conversation. However, there are no strict rules to govern this – some couples could be on a first date and might welcome some help breaking the ice.

Reading a guest simply means paying attention to the signs and gauging the guest's reaction. Is the couple you're serving engrossed in conversation with each other? Is the solo diner pre-occupied with their smartphone or using a laptop? Help your team to look out for signals that indicate guests aren't looking for a chat. When they don't want to engage, demonstrating open body language and making sure you're available should they need something, are good ways to make sure that contact isn't lost completely.

Our recent survey suggests that casual dining staff are getting it right with levels of engagement. However, the results simply revealed that guests were happy with the status quo, and didn't indicate whether further conversation was offered or not. Striking the right balance of warm and friendly conversation without being intrusive promotes just the sort of comfortable environment that will keep guests coming back for more.

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