The Future of Customer Service in the Restaurant Industry

At this time of the year, we start to think about the new year – and this also means the future of customer service.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the food and beverage industry, customer service stands as the cornerstone of your success. From the integration of cutting-edge technologies to cater to the modern diner’s evolving preferences to a deepened commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, let’s take a look at the different customer service areas that can be evaluated (and possibly improved).

Restaurant Customer Service Trends

  1. Embracing Technology

When it comes to the future of customer service , it is undeniably intertwined with technology. From online reservations and digital menus to contactless payment options, restaurants are leveraging tech solutions to enhance the overall dining experience.

Automated reservation systems (i.e. OpenTable), mobile apps, and smart ordering platforms (i.e. Toast) empower your guests with convenience. At the same time, these types of technology allow your team to streamline operations and focus on delivering exceptional service. For anyone that has worked the front of a restaurant, you are definitely going to appreciate the reduced reservation calls and ease in scheduling.

  1. Personalization Beyond the Plate

Once your guests are in the door, the customer service really begins. And it goes beyond the mere act of serving meals. Personalization will become a guiding principle. With a few extra steps, restaurant owners and managers leverage data analytics to understand their patrons on a deeper level.

From guests’ favorite dishes to preferred seating arrangements, anticipating and meeting individual preferences will be the new standard. As a sometimes restaurant guest yourself, imagine a dining experience where the ambiance, menu suggestions, and even the music are tailored.

  1. Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Today’s diners are very conscientious about their meal options – and will only continue to be more mindful of their culinary options. Along with more sustainable grocery options, they also thinking about the restaurants they visit. With so many establishments around (especially in our area!), it is important to understand the landscape. What are other venues doing? Are they showcasing their sustainable options, their social responsibility, etc.?

From eco-friendly packaging to locally sourced ingredients, discover new ways to engage in practices that align with your environmental and ethical values.  Then, provide transparent communication about your sustainable initiatives; the messaging will not only resonate with patrons but also contribute to a positive and responsible brand image.

  1. Customer Satisfaction and Instant Resolution

In any industry, feedback is welcome. Unfortunately, it can also be stressful. One misunderstanding, one undercooked plate….and there it is – a dreaded, less than stellar customer experience review. And while you do your best to make things ‘right’, it is understandable why a diner may want to share their honest experience with others.

Between social media and technology, restaurant-goers have an even louder voice, thanks to the integration of real-time feedback mechanisms. Restaurants should leverage technology to collect instant feedback. This allows them to address concerns promptly and enhance the overall dining experience. Two-way communication not only fosters a sense of transparency but also enables restaurants to continuously evolve based on direct input from their patrons.

Your Customer Service Team

When implementing any customer service updates, it is important that these changes are properly communicated with your entire team. If possible, try to hold a department meeting to discuss these changes. Smaller groups tend to foster a  more relaxed atmosphere so your team members feel open to asking questions.

Through these discussions, it is important to remind everyone that we are a client-facing industry  – and that the customer always knows best. On a stressful day, it can be easy to lose sight of the main goal. However, your team wins as a team.

Positivity starts from the top. Owners and managers that treat both their employees and diners with respect truly reflect a positive environment. And with the right team, you should expect less employee turnover.  After all, it is hard to leave a place where you love what you do and who you work with. People like seeing other people being treated well; it really resonates -especially with other team members. Ideally, employees would like to work with a team they can be proud of. Is it time to revisit your team communication?

 Future of Customer Service 

The future of customer service in the restaurant industry is exciting! By embracing technology, prioritizing personalization, championing sustainability, fostering real-time feedback, and improving the customer journey, restaurants can elevate their service standards.

As we navigate this transformative era, one thing remains certain: the heart of exceptional dining experiences will always be the commitment to delight, surprise, and exceeding customer expectations for every guest that walks through the door. Bergen Linen looks forward to supporting you through your next chapter.

Request a quote today.

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