How Restaurant Owners Should Train for Stellar Customer Service

restaurant customer service wow customer service
How Restaurant Owners Should Train for Stellar Customer Service

In the competitive world of restaurants, ensuring a stellar customer experience is paramount for success. Today, we delve into the importance of impeccable customer service and share a real-life example my mother experienced in the Phoenix metro area. Join me as I break down a remarkable customer service experience at a locally-owned restaurant that has grown to 16 locations and how restaurant owners can use it as an example to train for stellar customer service. 

My 82-year-old mother, Linda, an exceptional cook and former award-winning customer service trainer, recently encountered a glitch in her order at Wildflower Bread Company. Despite the initial hiccup, the restaurant turned the situation around with exemplary customer service.

Customer service mishap turned opportunity

After discovering the spinach and feta rolls she wanted were sold out, Linda placed an order for the next day. Unfortunately, upon arrival, the rolls were nowhere to be found. The restaurant's response, however, showcased their commitment to exceptional service.

  • Immediate offer of hospitality: The frontline staff member was well-trained and empowered, offering Linda a drink while she waited for the issue to be resolved. This proactive approach set a positive tone from the start.
  • Manager accountability: When the manager took responsibility for the oversight, she not only apologized but also offered lunch to Linda during the wait. This demonstrated a level of accountability crucial for customer trust.
  • Above and beyond delivery: Understanding Linda's time constraints, the manager went above and beyond by arranging for a team member to deliver the rolls to her home, ensuring she could stick to her cooking schedule.
  • Generous compensation: To further make amends, the manager doubled the order, providing a full dozen of the delectable rolls in an impressive catering tray. This gesture went beyond expectations and left a lasting impression.

Customer service lessons for restaurant owners

Small restaurants with humble beginnings, like Wildflower Bread Company, exemplify how exceptional customer service can drive growth. Here are key takeaways for restaurant owners:

  • Empower your team: Train your staff to be active listeners, proactive problem-solvers, and empowered decision-makers.
  • Take immediate responsibility: Encourage a culture of accountability where mistakes are acknowledged promptly, and solutions are offered.
  • Go above and beyond: In moments of service recovery, consider going the extra mile. Small gestures, like delivering orders, can leave a lasting positive impact.
  • Surprise and delight: Sometimes, exceeding customer expectations, as seen with Wildflower's generous compensation, can turn a negative experience into a positive one.

The Wildflower Bread Company's commitment to stellar customer service not only salvaged a potentially negative situation but also showcased how such practices contribute to business growth. As a restaurant owner, embracing these principles and instilling them in your team can set the stage for lasting success.

Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.

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