Simple Considerations In Restaurant Design

Great food and outstanding customer service are the most frequently cited keys to restaurant success. While quality food and service are two foundations of a successful restaurant, good restaurant design is vital to customer gratification and long term success. Good interior design creates a beautiful and functional dining space that enhances customer’s enjoyment of meals and entices guests to return.

empty restaurantCreating an excellent dining experience for customers requires a balance of design, technical considerations and function. While planning the restaurant interior, consider the architecture and infrastructure of the building. Create a harmonious design by combining existing aspects of the structure with attention to detail in several key areas.

Clientele

Begin by identifying the expectations of the restaurant’s target clientele. For example, fine dining customers may expect more space and privacy when dining than guests of more casual establishments. Families with children may prefer a relaxed environment that appeals to children. Understanding the needs of guests allows owners to develop a design that pleases customers.

Dining Room

When planning the dining room, consider the number of guests expected at peak meal hours. A good restaurant design will accommodate this number while maintaining customer comfort. Customers should be able to move around easily and dine without feeling crowded.

Create the right atmosphere by choosing furnishings, colors and lighting suited to the restaurant’s theme and clientele. An owner of a family friendly restaurant, for example, may choose bright colors and lighting to create an environment suited to children. Restaurants that cater to adults and fine dining often choose more subdued lighting and furnishings that create a more intimate environment.

Bar

Owners of restaurants that serve alcohol may benefit from creating a separate bar area. A bar serves as a place for guests to order a drink and relax while waiting to be seated. This area also allows single customers to sit for a meal without waiting for a table. In restaurants with heavy weekend traffic, the bar area should be as large as space allows.

Kitchen

A restaurant serving high quality meals requires a well-designed kitchen. The kitchen should be able to accommodate all necessary equipment along with all needed kitchen staff. Include areas for food preparation, storage and handling. Areas for handling shipments and washing dishes are also necessary. A well planned kitchen allows the restaurant to operate efficiently, ensuring customer satisfaction.

Restrooms

When space allows, a restaurant’s public restrooms should be able to accommodate several guests. Tables should be located away from restrooms or separated from them by partitions. If possible, employee restrooms should be located away from public restrooms.

Staff and Office Space

The restaurant layout should include a space for staff to store their personal belongings. A restaurant’s office should be a secure area suitable for storing money and important items or documents. Ideally, office space should be located in the back of the layout.

At all stages of restaurant planning, keep the customer’s needs and expectations in mind. Thoughtful attention to these details allows the restaurateur to create a dining environment that encourages customers to keep coming back.

Paul Kelly is the man behind some of Australia’s most successful food and beverage venues. Coming into our 15th year of business, Paul Kelly Design is turning the corner on 150 projects, each a signature space, each uniquely different and each one a personal creation of Paul Kelly and his team.

We are hospitality design, we live and breathe it and we do it very well. Welcome to Paul Kelly Design home of the creative minds behind some of Australia’s most successful food and beverage venues. Coming into our 15th year of business we are turning the corner on 150 projects, each a signature space, each uniquely different and each one a personal creation of Paul Kelly and his team.We are a holistic design company embracing new ideas and taking the complete project head on with involvement into every area of the project. Our goal is to be the top hospitality firm in the market and our passion for the success of the venues we create gives a Paul Kelly Design project the edge over competitors.

Restaurant Owners: The One Thing You MUST Do Now To Stop Losing Customers

Now, admittedly, between your daily responsibilities and your employee’s lack of enthusiasm, I know that it is not always easy to stay excited about training and many employees really only hear, “This is how we do things here,” “Know your menu inside and out,” “Be on time.” and “The customer is always right.” (OK, I simplified. But generally the training we offer servers can only be classified as procedural.) How do you take your training further and create a team of customer engagement specialist and put your sales and restaurant on auto pilot?

Easy. (Well perhaps a little effort will be needed since you are not a sales training expert like me. Hint hint.) Here is one method that you might try:

Based on discovery, I start training to each employee’s weakness. For example is Mike always late because of school? Is Mary usually trying to leave early because of her kids? Is Sarah a frustrated artist and ordinarily the one stirring up trouble or finding problems that don’t exist? Believe it or not, knowing what drives your employees outside of work is of utmost importance inside of work.

Now train your employees to over-deliver customer service, customer experiences, customer engagement, surpass sales goals, create referral, repeat clientele and reduce your employee turnover based on what your employees are trying to “get from their” jobs. Now that is NOT your typical procedural training.

Try training instead to Mary’s desire to get home early and with more energy.

Show Mary how to network in the neighborhood on her way to work, where she shops and talks with other moms anyway. Train her that telling everyone where she works and to come in early will actually get her out early and remembering customer’s names and preferences will save her miles of walking to tables.

You can incentivize her networking efforts so she can “Hook them Up” with V.I.P. service (Maybe moving them to a window table, buying them an appetizer or bringing the chef to their table or offering them off the menu items and introductions to the manager etc… ) Teach her that handing out business cards with her name written on and the best times to come to the restaurant for V.I.P. treatment (Early, when the restaurant isn’t at capacity) will actually get her out of the restaurant earlier and with more money because they are referral customers and she has more time to up-sell these guests.

Coach her that if she to creates an early seating of referral customers she will already be halfway out the door and home with her kids. Teach her that if she goes a step further and makes them “regular” customers she will already know their preferences and save her trips to her tables. She can skip trips to her tables and give that energy to her children simply by remembering a customer’s name and what he ordered.

You will actually be training Mary yo create customer experiences just by refocusing her attention from selling or taking orders to getting and remembering names.

You save Mary miles of walking when she can simply by say, “Good morning Bob! Are you having the usual?” from anywhere in the restaurant. (Once it grows to a great customer / employee relationship, Mary won’t even need to use words!)

More importantly you just trained someone to create amazing customer service instead of training them how to do your business.

Customer service sales training helps inspire your employees to want to create more customers and sales. Want to up-sell engagement as well as food and beverages and want to create extraordinary customer experiences. Try more customer service training and watch your team come together to create more sales, more profits and more customers.

Learn all the tips and tricks of amazing customer engagement and new staff motivation. Visit my profile for details. Your employees will stop waiting for customers to come in, stop settling for 20% tips and start utilizing the millions of dollars in assets you’ve given them to woo customers in during off-peak hours. We’ll help them see how much time, money and energy is slipping through their fingers every second of the day that their chairs are not filled and they are not creating amazing customer experiences.

Are You The Reason For Your Bad Customer Service In Restaurants?

How to Get Consistently Good Service At A Restaurant

Does Your Favorite Restaurant Drop The Ball When It Comes To Superior Customer Service?

Does it seem that you rarely get great customer service or fail to get it consistently?

Well you may be surprised to learn that you are part of the problem.

When it comes to customer service, good restaurants pay close attention to methodology, training and delivery. They constantly strive to consistently over deliver and yet it seems customer service is the customer’s number one complaint.

When it comes to customer service, good restaurants pay close attention to methodology, training and delivery. They constantly strive to consistently over deliver and yet it seems customer service is the number one complaint. Why?

The problem is rarely enthusiasm, waiters are eager to do a good job.. at least at the onset, but often times the many, various and often the peculiar needs of others can overwhelm even the cheeriest and most capable of employees and push them to the brink of a nervous breakdown nightly.

The obvious answer is of course, “get another job.” The glib sentiment of besmirched customers who leave loose change, nasty notes and scathing social media reviews in the wake of perceived inattentive service.

Having some experience in the restaurant industry, it is far easier for me to see, understand and forgive the missteps of total strangers who’ve been assigned to anticipate my every whim, but others may not be as astute or even care that the new hostess has just seated my server two new tables in back to back and my order is going to take longer now as a result. While my busy server is greeting and taking drink orders for fourteen new people, she doesn’t see that the other servers have no tables but I do. New hostess error, vendetta, planning for a larger party later at the currently seated tables? We may never know. I am simply aware that I can’t get things as fast as before.

It doesn’t help matters that the chef is in a bad mood, has been known to passively aggressive loose tickets or throw knives and the new table of eight is asking to substitute virtually every ingredient for every other ingredient. I can see beads of sweat reminiscent of the movie “Airplane” materializing on my server’s forehead as she invasions the chefs angry face as he reads the new novel she wrote at the POS terminal while I patiently (Not really) wait to ask for another beer. In the blink of an eye things were not as customer friendly and it was all the fault of the evil hostess who dared to seat additional guests once I had arrived.

Why should I wait for my beer? Constantly looking away from my handsome boyfriend to see if I could catch my waitress’s eye. Nope. She was writing War & Peace, double and triple checking everything for any error that might send “Wolfgang *uck” into a knife throwing rage. This while one of her co-workers chattered on in her ear, trying to make her slip up, as she waited for her turn on the computer. Why should I have to wait? I had no substitutions. No “squeaky door” emergencies that send servers looking for managers because “the air conditioner is blowing near me.” Or “The music is so loud by my table. I can’t even here.” I didn’t have kids that needed “french fries IMMEDIATELY! No, don’t even take our drink order, just put the order for french fries in and come back.” That’s two trips by the way for those of you who think their server is not doing their “job” for you, often there are doing it twice for someone else. Twice due to poor planning when it came to their “Little Chukies” dietary needs. Why should I wait for my beer because you didn’t pack a Lunchable for your little angel who is emptying all the sugar packets? Why is there no Heineken for me because of a condom shortage four years ago? Why If Chucky needs food or will go into a diabetic coma should my server do her job twice because of it? Because that is reality. This is the world we live in and it is special. Special order, special situation, special diet, special occasion friendly and if we are going to reap the rewards of switching menu items, feeding cranky kids, not freezing under an air-conditioning vent at some point in our own lives then we have to make allowances for the fact that others may be experiencing those moments right now as you dine.

That being said, how many times have you dined at a restaurant and loved the food but failed to get good service and never went back? Why would you have to? There are always new great restaurants to try so even though the food was spectacular; your server never brought the extra lemon wedge you asked for after she brought mustard for your friend (Two trips which cost another table time getting her beer by the way.) and didn’t smile when you had to remind her so why go back? Better to just get on the internet and write directly to her manager through an anonymous, scathing Yelp review which results in an employee review, new found job resentment and domino effect passive aggressive behavior for all subsequent customers. Customers who will vow never to return because their waitress didn’t smile when they asked for a wedge of lemon as she delivered mustard to their friend and didn’t smile again when they reminded her that she “forgot” the lemon.

Why go back? Why do things differently? Well you are reading this because this which has become standard isn’t working for you. You want better customer service. Well here is how you can get it:

Think for a moment that this way which has become standard really isn’t working for anyone. Not the customers who get treated like an afterthought, not the waiters who don’t know how nice you are and not the restaurants who never see you (or your wallet) again.

If you can see how the “standard” doesn’t work then you can see your part in its solution at least in as much as it applies to you.

Here is one solution which won’t require much effort on your part but will net you big results in the end: become recognized. It is the only way you can get great, personalized, consistently great service and it’s easier to accomplish than you think. Otherwise you are merely an anonymous person your waiter hopes to get a tip from.

First choose a restaurant you have been before or plan to make your regular “go-to” for great service. If you’ve been there before you know the lay of the land and know where you would like to sit and where you would prefer not to sit. If you haven’t been there and are choosing new place you would like to make your regular spot for great customer service then go on-line to look for pictures of the dining room and locate where you would prefer to sit.

Next call your “go-to” for a reservation.

If you have a “go to” for great sushi, a go to for great steak and a “go to” for great burgers why not add a “go to” for great service? With anything worth wild it will take some work on your end. As there are several variables at play, your mission will be to make a few of those variables as constant as possible. But this is a process and will take some effort and perhaps some extra cash on your part depending on how “recognized” you would like to be so now that you have chosen your restaurant, now its time to book your reservation. Make sure you dine early enough that your server is able to focus on you and isn’t swamped with diners. (Translation: If you are trying to become a recognized customer, don’t dine at a time when your server is so busy that he doesn’t have time to recognize you. You will be wasting your time. He will not be able to remember you.)

When you make the reservation, tell the hostess why you what your dinner will be for i.e. a date, business meeting, friends from out of town and ask the her for the best table for your needs and what that table number would be to request it in the future. (A table good for a date probably won’t be good for a business meeting and vice-versa but when you simply make a reservation there is no way of knowing which you prefer and you most certainly will be let down a certain percent of the time as a result.) You are a smart person. You are reading this page after all. How many times have you begun an evening with a table that was the complete opposite of what you wanted? How many times have you arrived to dinner during peak dining “rush hour” to find every other table taken? Well guess what? If you don’t tell your hostess you need something romantic she has no reason to hold the romantic corner table for you and will give it to the extremely persistent couple who just walked in before you. She still has a table for you after all, and that’s all you asked for. A little communication with her beforehand and she would have told dozens of couples that the table you are miserable at now was the only one she had available for them and they would have been thankful.

Instead, your night is off to a lousy start because the person on the other end of the phone was not able to read your mind. Now you are frustrated, you feel like “What is the point of a reservation!!?” things are off to a bad start with your waiter and he has absolutely no idea why.

So, you make your reservation, communicated your needs and desires with your hostess. Make sure to remember her name so you can thank her or if the table isn’t what you had in mind, you will want to use her name to request another one. Before you hang up, ask the hostess who is the best waiter and why. Some servers are more efficient and invisible, others have vast wine knowledge and others take pictures and videos etc. and make celebrations unique and special. If you just ask for the best server you won’t have a name to go with it and his style of serving may not be what you are looking for. The more you can give and get from conversations with your hostess, the better prepared your server will be. Now you arrive at the restaurant and are seated at a great table, you already know your server’s style and he already knows the theme for your dinner from what the hostess has told him and can better sense what you are looking for. Now, for something completely different: Say, “Thank you.” You will have his full attention because no one ever does it. They just take for granted that they should start telling a complete stranger what they want or that they aren’t ready to order yet or “What are your specials?” Try “*Thank you” instead. There is quite a bit of preparation that goes in to the table that you are sitting at and learning about the foods and ingredients your are going to be asking about. Your server has already been working for you long before you even arrived and it’s a nice, disarming way to start a relationship with a total stranger who’s table you are now seated at.

The rest of your dining experience should go as expected but when you are paying the check if you received everything you were expecting then tip more than usual. (I recommend 25%-30% of the total. Remember this is part of the process. You can go anywhere and have an average experience and leave an average tip but this is going to be your “go to” for great service and recognition. Here you are going to be known as above average, warranting extra attention because you are generous.)

If nothing went terribly wrong, your waiter seemed to sense your needs and desires, your personalities didn’t clash and you can see him as your regular server then thank him by asking to speak with the manager or owner. When he comes to the table make sure to tell him what a nice experience you have had and how your server really was in tune with what you wanted. Your complement will go a very long way for a server and he will really appreciate and remember you for it. Give the manager your business card and tell him why the restaurant and server is perfect for your future business dinners or get togethers. Be sure to send complements to the chef and ask for his name. Tell the manager that next time you come in you would like to meet the chef to thank him personally. Make your next reservation with the manager before you even get up from the table. Ask what table number it is or request a different one. It will be in the computer associated with your phone number every time you call. Thank your hostess by name on the way out. Thank her for taking the time to plan the perfect lunch or dinner with you and listen to what you wanted. (These things mean a lot and move you to the top of the list when it comes to priorities. Don’t abuse your recognition. Although it is effort on your end don’t mistake it for entitlement and start finger snapping or using a server’s name. There is a fine line between a “good customer” that the entire staff is happy to see and loves showering with V.I.P. perks because it is unexpected and an arrogant guest who uses the staff’s names and kindness against them to create additional work. Those guests will not be “Welcomed” for very long and all your efforts will be for nothing and you will only embarrass yourself.)

*If I have a really important dinner and don’t know the restaurant, when I arrive I ask the server to show me to the restroom and when we are out of sight of my guests I hand him $20 and say, “Thank you for your help in making this a special dinner tonight. My name is LeeAnne.” Then I ask his name, tell him about my needs or the theme or my guests needs so he doesn’t have to try to read my mind all night. The result is usually fantastic.

Restaurant Customers: Suggest a Customer Service Pre-Shift Meeting to your favorite restaurant and see service sky-rocket as you are greeted by name, catered to personally, your favorite items already on the table, table visits and greetings by the chef and owners with complementary surprises.

Restaurant Personnel: Double Your Reservations, Customers And Sales! Read The Book And Learn At Your Own Pace Or Schedule A $200.00 Customer Service Pre-Shift Meeting And Start Making Real Money And Massive Repeat Clientele! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DDG2E0C

Restaurant Owners: Do you need customer engagement and retention for your restaurant?

If you need more sales you absolutely do!

Does your restaurant staff love being at work and love your customers?

If not you need a Customer Engagement Program fast!

With my Customer Engagement Program you will double your sales and cut your employee turnover in half!

As a hospitality / customer service consultant and trainer I teach restaurant employees to see their customers, their town, their restaurant, their section, their hostess, their co-workers, their chef, their manager, the restaurant owner, the food, even the building where they work as a goldmines to help them create everything they ever dreamed of in life.

If you are tired of the “What if’s” and need to grow your business call me to create your custom tailored, customer engagement and retention employee training program.

Call me before your competition does! 1-860-248-0988

Create More Customers, Tips And Sales Fast!
Restaurant Owners/Managers/Waiters: When You Need More Money Fast You Need A Customer Engagement Program For Your Employees!