Article: “Customer Service Or The Lack There Of”

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excerpt:
“Who among us hasn’t had an unpleasant dining experience thanks to a rude waiter, lousy food and bad service? From the telephone to the table, customer service is defined by anticipating the demands of customers, and these days, customers are demanding more; specifically in the way of service, and service starts as soon as the guest walks through the door.

The old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” still holds true today, especially in the hospitality industry, and equally important is the guest’s lasting impression.

“If we don’t take care of our customers, our competition will,” said Annie Kang-Drachen, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Department of Food & Beverage Management, UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.”

source: “Customer Service Or The Lack There Of” by Kate Mazzarella-Minshall (Foodservice.com)

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Blog Post: “How to Become a Regular” (Jul.2006)

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excerpt:
“Being a regular earns you a lot of benefits for only a few conscious behaviors, mostly just good manners. Visit frequently, follow these tips, and within a short amount of time, you’re in.

Wikipedia describes a regular as…

A person who appears often at a certain location and may know others who are also there often, whether out of want or occupation. For example, a regular can be one who goes to a certain coffee shop everyday, so often that the employees know him or her…”

source: “How to Become a Regular” by Greg Cerveny (urban monarch, Jul.31,2006)

Article: “Customer service with a snarl” (Aug.2006)

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excerpt:
“Customer service has eroded over the past decade for a variety of reasons — low wages, lack of training, exponential growth, to name a few. Few companies have the blend of corporate culture, training and opportunities for advancement that makes employees surpass expectations…

…In the restaurant business, quality is difficult to gauge because most customers don’t complain — they simply go elsewhere. To amp up its service, Furio began a day-after-dining program to gauge customer satisfaction: The Scottsdale restaurant picks diners at random from the reservation book and contacts them about their experience.

“We look at every single comment,” says Stephanie Eglin, director of marketing for Anthem Restaurants, which owns Furio. “When somebody gives negative feedback, the owner himself makes the call if he’s able to. This type of endeavor is not costly, and we’re able to gain a lot of valuable feedback…”

source: “Customer service with a snarl” by Marija Potkonjak (East Valley Tribune, Aug.14,2006)

Article: “Fusion with flair, if you’re patient” (Aug.2006)

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excerpt:
“Stunning design and excellent food by themselves do not automatically make a great restaurant, however. Three months after it opened, the 200-seat Kampai still is plagued by poor service and a kitchen that sometimes seems incapable of turning out more than one exquisitely plated dish at a time.

…On our first visit, the server kept rebellion at bay by stopping regularly to check on us and apologize for the kitchen being so backed up. He was friendly and professional. As the evening dragged on, he brought a free pot of tea to keep us happy.

At a later dinner, a different server all but abandoned our table after bringing drinks, and there were no reassurances. He appeared undertrained and overwhelmed. The starters and entrees straggled out one at a time, and the rice we asked for earlier in the evening didn’t arrive until we were almost finished eating. The manager, eventually noticing our discomfort, tried to speed things up and offered a $5 gift card toward a future meal as compensation, but it wasn’t enough to mollify us by then.

…Kampai House has the food and the setting. Now, all it needs is some attention to service to become a restaurant worthy of a return visit.”

source: “Fusion with flair, if you’re patient” by Aleta Wilson (Mercury News, Aug.13,2006)

Article: “The Wireless Touch: Casual restaurants adopt wireless POS with service in mind” (Jul.2006)

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excerpt:
“Wireless point-of-sale (POS) systems started gaining attention in 2001, but are just now starting to pop up more often at the tables of casual-dining restaurants. This market represents an estimated 41 percent of the wireless POS market, according to 2005 research from Mercator Advisory Group, a research firm for the payment industry.

With benefits such as turning tables faster, delivering more accurate orders, and maximizing server productivity and customer satisfaction, there’s no question why restaurants are remaking themselves with wireless handheld systems…”

source: “The Wireless Touch: Casual restaurants adopt wireless POS with service in mind” by Vicki Powers (Hospitality Technology, July/August 2006)

Article: “Lehndorff: Spell-check those menus” (Aug.2006)

excerpt:
“I should be relaxing during these dog days of summer, but big questions plague my overheated mind. I get picky, picky, picky and wonder:

Why don’t people who write restaurant menus use spell-checker or have someone proofread them before they print them? I constantly catch spelling and grammatical errors among the starters and entrees. When I see “prosciutto wrapped shrimp,” I wonder why there isn’t a hyphen connecting the modifiers, i.e., “prosciutto-wrapped.”

It makes me think there are other details that have slipped below the management’s radar…”

source: “Lehndorff: Spell-check those menus” by John Lehndorff (Rocky Mountain News, Aug.4,2006)

related link:
Resource: Customers list their restaurant pet peeves and annoyances [WaiterBell Blog]

Article: “How To Make The Crabby Customer Into The Lifetime Satisfied Patron”

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excerpt:
“Despite all of our best efforts, all restaurants face the occasional crabby customer. Regardless if the grouch is grouchy because of something we did (or didn’t do), the bottom line is that it’s our job to put them in a better mood. And most often, the whiner who can be won over will think your restaurant is a winner.

Practice responding to unhappy guests. Use real-life scenarios and role-play them with your staff. Start with the small and the mundane like “My food is cold.” That’s easy – you simply take the plate of food away and return hot food. Voila! You’re a superstar.

Move into the heavy stuff. Food is taking a long time or a table was forgotten. How do you make up for those things? Find out before you have to deal with it for real…”

source: “How To Make The Crabby Customer Into The Lifetime Satisfied Patron” by Susie Ross (The Restaurant Report)