First impressions matter. You have one chance to make a first impression and it’s important to nail that impression.
How important are details? When building an experience for your guests, the little details are primordial.
First impressions help to draw people into your business, set the tone for the experience, build guest expectations, define your concept, and establish the measurement for value.
You might assume that your food is the beginning and end of what brings customers back; simple. The expectations of a customer may vary widely and everything from quality of service to how soft the toilet paper is in your restrooms may influence is opinion.
The Power of Positive Restaurant First Impressions is real. The dishes your restaurant serves is only one of many aspects that might produce the positive restaurant first impressions needed to bring guests back.
Begin by looking at your restaurant from the outside as a customer. How does the restaurant look? Is it inviting, seem to be clean, trendy? Does the exterior need paint, lighting, or landscaping? After the first impressions, your customers need to quickly know what your restaurant offers.
An appropriate signage is needed. The right menu display designed to be installed in the front window, reception, or near the main entrance is the perfect organized way to display your menus, daily specials, photos and schedules.
Take a walk through your space. Identify what small details would add comfort for your clients. Consider a boot rack, an umbrella holder, and coat hooks. Make sure that there are enough surfaces, such as end tables or coffee tables, in the reception area or waiting room for your clients to set down a handbag.
To ensure the cleanliness of those tables, install a magazine holder on the wall nearby that projects a sense of expertise and professionalism.
A magazine holder always looks trendy and orderly, and lets your visitors be able to easily read and feel relaxed while waiting for their table.
What are the visuals inside your restaurant or café? Is the decor interesting and warm? Are the colors conductive to a great food experience? Think about how different colours affect you. The main mission of the decor is to energize and inspire everyone who walks in.
Bold reds, oranges, and yellows may feel agitating. Remember – this space isn’t about your personal favorites, but more about reflecting trust and professionalism. Try choosing softer, more neutral colours and injecting some personality through wall art or rugs.
Wall decorations are a perfect way to reflect the personality of your restaurant. It helps customers and visitors to relax in a beautiful space. Hang the artwork, framed awards, with a picture hanging systems in order to better organize and protect your walls.
Pay attention to the distinction between pleasant sounds and disturbing noises. Is the music appropriate for the concept of the restaurant and its menu?
Are there kitchen sounds reaching the dining area? Make sure these sounds add a good experience and not the opposite.
Look at your tabletop decor. Make sure the experience you create with table covering, glassware, flowers, candles, etc., match your expectations as well as the customers’. Is the table lighting sufficient for reading the menu? The more fortunate patrons will have natural light flowing into their eating space. Capitalize on it!
In a darker space, choose the correct type of table lamps or wall fixtures. Overhead fluorescent bulbs feel sterile and unwelcoming. You can try LED lighting that will provide a more natural feel. Its important to be sure there is plenty of light in their space that projects a sense of warmth and cleanliness.
Your clients must feel comfortable and at ease the whole time they are in your restaurant, and at their table.
Cleanliness is crucial. If customers perceive any area of a restaurant or café to be less than clean or sanitary, from the hostess station to the table to the restroom, they may make assumptions about the kitchen and the food. Customers expect to see clean surfaces everywhere: tabletop, food menu, wall molding, fans, floors, and windows.
Customers are expecting friendly and helpful customer service the moment they walk in the door – hostesses, waiters, busboys, bar tenders and restaurant manager – each has a role to play in ensuring the customer feels cared for. Customers come to your restaurant to enjoy food and the overall experience. Is your service staff professionally dressed and do the uniforms match the concept and the value experience? Waiters must come by the right number of times and be pleasant, friendly and helpful. Every customer is counting on paying for great food and receiving a quality service in return.
First impressions are lasting impressions. Your goal should always be to create memories. Positive memories will bring customers back and encourage them to recommend your restaurant to their friends and colleagues.