From the moment a customer walks through your door to the minute he or she walks back out, it is your job to provide a top-notch “dining experience” that makes the customer want to come back. Whether you’re operating a bar or a restaurant, creating an unforgettable experience is paramount when it comes to the success of your business. While most Pittsburgh bar and restaurant owners are well aware that their customers don’t want to wait in long lines for a table or to get their meal, many operators overlook the fact that customers also don’t want to feel forgotten at the end of their meal. Here’s what we mean.

All Roads Lead to Dessert

All Roads Lead to Dessert

Any restaurant owner understands the importance of honoring reservations, courteously greeting guests, seating them promptly, and serving them with care and timeliness. However, a truly seasoned owner will also understand that hitting the nail on the head, so to speak, at every step along the way of the dining experience will likely lead to dessert. And dessert can be a terrific way to maximize your bottom line, increase tips for your staff and literally leave a great taste in your customers’ mouths. That said, here’s where many restaurants fail to deliver an all-around excellent experience from start to finish.

Leave a Lasting Impression

Leave a Lasting Impression

Your customers have finished their meal, and the food and service have been so good that they want to order dessert. This means that their table will need to be bussed, wiped down, and prepared for a final course while your guests are still seated and waiting. This is where the overall dining experience often comes to a crashing halt. Sitting at a table full of dirty dishes for more than a couple of minutes isn’t the most pleasant way to enjoy a relaxing after-dinner conversation while waiting for dessert to arrive. Remember that timeliness is also a factor when providing dessert menus, serving dessert, and bringing the check. Don’t let your guests feel that just because they’ve finished their meals, your staff no longer cares about their satisfaction. You can also run the risk of diners deciding to go elsewhere for dessert if they can’t seem to get their waiter’s attention at the end of their meal. Management, wait staff, and hostesses should all be working in concert and act as a team to ensure that no table is ignored, no matter where they are in their “dining experience.”  Train your hosts and even managers to look for dirty dishes when passing through the dining area, and make sure your entire staff knows and understands that customers who are finishing up are just as important as those who have just sat down.

Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

No matter what has preceded the end of their meal, your diners are going to remember their overall experience at your restaurant by how they felt right before leaving. If they were disgruntled because it took forever to get their change back, they may think twice before coming back.

Instead, make sure your customers have only positive memories of their entire experience by having their waiter remember to check on them throughout their meal, say goodbye, and let them know they’d love to see them again.

As a general rule, you can also improve your diners’ overall experience by continually investing, even on a small scale, on improvements and renovations to your restaurant. After all, outdated and uncomfortable booths aren’t going to make your guests any more patient when waiting for their dessert to arrive.

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your Pittsburgh restaurant, but aren’t sure you can afford the upfront costs, get in touch with the friendly and experienced lenders at Specialty Group in Pittsburgh by contacting us online or giving us a call at (412) 369-1555. We’d be happy to help you get your restaurant back on track so that you can give your customers the best possible experience and keep them coming back!