Are you switching over to contactless order and pay? Are you developing a new menu or making changes to your service model? Transition periods can be quite a challenge for restaurants, especially for more established ones. Not only does your front of house and back of house staff need to be trained on these new changes, the customers will also need to adjust. New technology and simpler operating methods can be a change for the better but the following tips will help with skipping the sometimes awkward and often confusing adjustment stage.
Give advance notice
Don’t spring new systems on your staff or customers. Give ample time for training and customer adjustment. Sudden huge changes in operations or service can create a chaotic environment.
Over communicate changes on all of your channels
Talk about it and be clear! Let your customers know what changes are coming and how they will improve the restaurant experience or allow your staff to deliver better service. Use your social media channels, website, email list, and all other communication methods to get the message across.
Keep it upbeat and exciting!
Let your customers know that you value them and that this transition to new systems, technology, or service is to their benefit. Keep the language upbeat and create excitement for the new experience. Show customers that they are a part of your business by welcoming their input and engaging with them.
Have a script with which to educate the customers. Have a plan for communicating this in person to customers
Don’t leave your staff ill-equipped for customer questions about the new changes. Empower them to confidently communicate the changes in a clear and exciting way by creating a script that they can use for each customer interaction. Include relevant details.
Prioritize staff training on how to use the new technology
Great training can increase staff morale and decrease the possibility of questions asked during service hours. Don’t just breeze over the basics of new software or technology, demonstrate for your staff. You can use different training formats such as videos, in-person training, and physical instruction sheets. Have your staff practice using the new technology and become comfortable with the new systems.
Don’t implement something new on a busy shift
Avoid creating a chaotic situation. You want each customer to have a great experience in which the staff is able to clearly communicate all changes without missing important details. Managers should be available to answer more complicated questions. This is not always possible during the busy shift.
Remember that implementing new systems requires an adjustment period. Communicate, embrace mistakes, make use of every learning opportunity, and give your staff the tools that they need to provide the best service possible.