By Emily Callaghan, Communications Manager
Any business operator can tell you that Yelp reviews can help or hurt, and since no one can please 100% of customers 100% of the time, restaurant owners can expect a less-than-glowing review at some point. In fact, negative reviews can even be seen as a positive…
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Photo Credit: License CC by 2.0 Copyright Flickr UserDita Margarita
California bartenders are now required to wear gloves when handling components that go directly into drinks, for example ice cubes or lemon twists. These new regulations are a hot topic in the restaurant industry, with many chefs and professionals against the legislation.
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How fragile is it? Why do you support a restaurant brand? With so many restaurants competing for stomach share it is imperative to your brand’s long term success to create customers that are apostles of your brand.
A recent case-in-point. I’ve been a loyal American Airlines customer for over 25 years and during that time I have accumulated over 5 million air miles (that’s a lot!). As a long-time customer deeply entrenched in their “loyalty program,” I often times sucked-up many travel and scheduling inconveniences to support my brand of choice. In the early years I was a big fan of American and my Platinum status actually meant something to me. However, recently, I have come to experience that American does not go out of their way to make my check-in stress free, or even make me feel comfortable during the flight. Do they really care about me? With poor service like this, I don’t think so and i feel my brand loyalty is slipping away.
On a recent business trip to New York I had the opportunity to fly Virgin America. Even though I have no special VA frequent flyer privileges all I can say is “wow I was impressed!” Not only was the fare cheaper than my “choice carrier” the check in was pleasurable and stress free. Moreover, the aircraft was newer, I had free TV and Internet service. Virgin America exceeded my expectations at every given opportunity and I must say, my heart has turned to another. Simply put, a brand will only receive my loyalty if they meet and exceed my expectations, and in this instance, Virgin America won me over.
In today’s competitive environment I believe brand loyalty is extremely fragile and if you’re not exceeding your customer’s expectations, even from the smallest greeting , customer’s can and will turn away from you in an instant since there are so many other establishments that have service basics down and know how to treat a customer. Check out our previous post, It’s all about the little things, which mentions the importance of the details that will retain your customer’s loyalty.
The restaurant industry is a classic service business. Winning restaurants are all about hospitality and guest service. Therefore, the most valuable asset a restaurant “owns” is its employee talent base. Without proper store level training, neither the best real-estate, most attractive storefront nor the smartest ad campaign are worth as much to the enterprise as protecting and nurturing the talent base.
During these economic times training restaurant management and hourly staff may challenge the budget. Please keep this in mind; restaurant training may be the most critical variable between you and your competition. Training is the key determinant of success as restaurant operators plot their 2010 strategies to adapt to slumping sales and profits.
Does your restaurant celebrate birthdays? Of course! However, when the cake or muffin comes and the candle is lit, what of the wax…especially if there are a lot of candles or if there is a long wait to extinguish the flames.
Well here is a ‘life saver’ of an idea to solve that problem; use Life Saver candies as candle holders on Birthday cakes and other celebration foods to catch the wax and keep your food more edible.
There is a cute story of how LifeSavers were created and this is one of those classic happy accidents. They came about in 1912 when Clarence Crane was looking for a candy to sell in the summer when chocolate was difficult to store. He concieved of a hard mint and engaged a pill manufacturer to make them for him. They found that the candies were easier to make if they were donut shaped and thus the candy and name Lifesavers was born.