We all have our favorite restaurant and it's very clear why we go back again and again. They have a winning formula that most restaurants can't seem to master. Below are the reasons we come back again and again.
We frequent establishments more often when we feel special and recognized. If you are just another name on the reservation list, even after you have been there repeatedly, you feel as though no one cares about your business. The successful restaurants always get to know you personally and make you feel as though you are the only customer they have and that their continued success depends on your satisfaction. Because it does!
The owners and the managers need to be on the same page. The owner(s) must have the vision of what kind of establishment he wants and what it will take to make that happened. Management must understand the vision clearly and be able to achieve it.
Most restaurants specialize in a certain type of cuisine. They find the best chef in the industry that has mastered that type of culinary expertise.
Your customers aren't all the same. Each has their own expectations of what they want. A great company knows how to specialize in what they do best but also be able to meet the various demands of their clientele. The winning formula is specialized diversity.
No matter how good the food is, it's not a pleasant experience if the service is lousy. Restaurants that have been in business for years are there because they recognize that at the end of the day, service is what makes or breaks any business.
Exceptional service comes from long-term staff that knows the menu inside and out, knows their customers and understand how to keep up the reputation of the restaurant (and are proud to do it) no matter what it takes. And they do it with sincere efforts and genuine pleasure. After all, they are only as successful as their customers are happy. It takes time to train a competent staff and lots of internal processes to keep them. We all know that great companies keep the same employees year after year.
Companies that have achieved a phenomenal reputation and maintain a steady stream of loyal customers remain in business and successful year after year attribute it to word-of-mouth. No amount of advertising can sustain a company's stream of customers year after year if the ingredients for an extraordinary organization are not there. It doesn't matter how big the billboard is or how sexy and colorful the full-page ad is in the magazine; at the end of the day, it's the satisfied customers that keep the company in business and growing.
An outstanding restaurant is always consistent. You can always count on great management, attention to detail, great food, and great service.
If one day the service is great but food is bad and the next time it is visa versa, we will only give the restaurant a few more chances before we decide not to come back. The restaurants that win the Zagat awards or are featured in magazines as the "best in the area" receive that recognition because they consistently deliver incomparable service and scrumptiously tasty food as well as the other intangibles that go into making a restaurant outstanding.
Let's not forget the check we get at the end of the meal. Cost enters into the equation but is at the bottom of the list as far as importance. As professionals we recognize that premium food, A++ service, an outstanding chef, and management dedicated to the continued search for excellent costs money. Always purchasing the best produce and meat, paying for the seasoned chef, and maintaining and motivating the staff does not come cheap. You get what you pay for is just as true in choosing a restaurant as it is in hiring a billing service.