Part of the joy of going to a restaurant or pub is the ambience: comfortable seating, the lighting, music, clean environment and yes, smart, sharp and attentive waitstaff. So how can you, the restaurateur or pub owner, make sure you gain and retain repeat customers? Here are some ideas:
1) Consider The Lighting
Depending on what kind of restaurant or pub you have, lighting, whether dim or bright, can make a huge difference. If you want something of a romantic and low-key feel, dimmer lighting is a bonus. If your focus is a party atmosphere, brighter lighting might be the way to go, especially if your place is a family-friendly pizza joint with video games for the kids.
2) Consider the Music
Again, consider your theme. If it’s intended to be geared towards family gatherings and parties, you can’t go wrong with either today’s hits or golden oldies, or even a mix thereof. But here’s a hint: there are lots of restaurants that play their music loud, and that makes it hard to communicate to your loved ones, to say nothing of the waitstaff. Don’t make this mistake. Have the music just loud enough to be heard, but not so loud that everyone has to shout over it. If you run a pub, of course, loud, live music is going to end up being part of the whole atmosphere.
3) Seating Must Be Comfortable
There is nothing more annoying to the customer who goes into a sit-down restaurant or pub and the cushions on the seats leave something to be desired. The whole point of a restaurant or pub being cozy is that you want the customers to linger over their dinner, savoring every bite and listening to the live music—particularly if you’re running a pub, and music is one of your big draws. Plus, soft seating lends romantic charm to a place where a lot of couples come in for date night.
4) Cleanliness and Attentiveness, Above All
The first three items are nothing if your pub or restaurant is not clean or your waitstaff is perpetually inattentive. The restrooms, and of course, your kitchen area are the ultimate when it comes to necessary cleanliness, but making sure the carpets, if any, are vacuumed, and the hard surfaces are dusted wiped down and bleached in the case of tables and decorative trim, and floors are swept and mopped.
Make sure your waitstaff are paying attention to who needs or desires what. In fact, if you’re a restaurateur with a bar in one section of your business, one thing you might want to employ is the use of company-issued tablets or smartphones to quickly communicate drink orders to a bartender, so that by the time a waiter or waitress gets back to the bar after delivering the food order to the kitchen, the bartender will have drinks ready and waiting to be taken back to their respective tables.
These tips will help you make your restaurant or pub the coziest, most comfortable place on the block—one that people will return to and positively review over and over again.