Getting customers to come back to your restaurant is about more than just serving good food. Your restaurant’s ambiance plays a bigger role than you’d think in customer satisfaction.
No matter how good the food is, chances are when it’s served where there’s yellow lighting, dirty floors, and seating arrangements, customers will not return.
Here’s how to make your customers enjoy your restaurant’s atmosphere and come over frequently.
Consider Visual Entertainment
Whether it’s a soothing video or an intense sports match, installing a TV in your restaurant for visual entertainment will certainly impact the atmosphere of your restaurant and cause customers to come back.
The fact of the matter is that your restaurant is competing with not just home televisions, but also streaming services plus the allure of smartphones. People nowadays want to be connected to the rest of the world at all times. At lunchtime, it’s the stock market or current events. In the evening, it’s sporting events. Television is a great tool for ambience improvements for restaurants, primarily because the visuals can be tailored to match the preferred atmosphere of any given crowd of customers. For example, an ambience of sportsmanship is created for sports fans by simply tuning in to a sports match. Plus, it sparks conversations, resulting in connections that’ll have customers returning to your restaurant to pursue.
A Clean Environment
Cleanliness is key to ensuring your customers have a positive experience at your restaurant. Regardless of how much work you put into everything else, a dirty environment means your customers will definitely not be returning.
Not only that, a dirty environment has other adverse effects, such as having your restaurant shut down for violating health codes, or opening yourself up to an expensive lawsuit when a customer finds a cockroach in their water.
Here are tips on how to keep your restaurant clean:
- Ensure every surface is washed with clean, sanitized rags. Including the bar, tabletops, chairs, booths
- Ensure all restrooms are scrubbed and sanitized. Then have them checked multiple times per shift and cleaned as necessary
- Have all the floors swept and mopped every day
- Check menus for cleanliness
- Blinds, ceiling fans, anything on the walls
- Enforce strict clean hands and clothes protocol among waitstaff
Lighting sets the mood. Proper lighting is often underrated, yet the atmosphere that the right lighting creates has been shown to increase sales. Lights can influence customers to stay longer than planned in order to enjoy the dining experience, which leads to a larger order. Again, proper lighting can help sell more food by making the food look very appealing.
When deciding on the right lighting for your restaurant environment, factor in the food you serve and the mood you want to set. If you have a theme or desired ambiance for your restaurant or bar, make sure the lighting also reflects that. You should also consider your working hours and the kind of customers you have.
For example, if you have a bar that gets most of its customers in the evening, don’t use bright, harsh lighting. This kind of lighting may be great for breakfast cafés because of the mood in the morning, but at night, people want to wind down and relax. Instead, you should choose softer tones, even experimenting with color to give off a fun vibe for a relaxing night.
Consider Hiring Outside Entertainment
A sure way to make your customers enjoy the atmosphere and come back for more is by hiring outside entertainment in the form of live music or performers. It’s a great way to set yourself above the competition.
Here are some important considerations to make sure that you get your return on investment (ROI):
- It’s best if your dining room has a space that is open enough so that the entertainment will be visible by all your guests
- It’s best if your budget is sizable enough to warrant paying a live entertainer each night regardless of how many people are in your dining room
- It’s best if you have a customer base that will appreciate this added expense. For example, this might not be the best idea for a sports restaurant, as the majority of customers are there to watch sports and not to be serenaded by the next John Legend
Maintain A Friendly Atmosphere
The most effective way to ensure this is to train your staff to be friendly. Staff that is generous with their smiles, are good listeners, and are also excellent conversationalists will create an atmosphere that is so friendly that customer satisfaction will be guaranteed.
Admittedly, the restaurant business is not easy to run. Primary among its challenges is creating an atmosphere that beats the numerous competitors and ensures customer loyalty. With strategies like including visual entertainment, using proper lighting, and maintaining a squeaky clean restaurant, this problem can be solved.