On our previous post: Tips for a Great Restaurant Atmosphere (part 1) we emphasized the importance of design, lighting, music and comfort.
To complete the list here are the rest of our tips for a great restaurant aptmosphere:
- Seating layout needs to be spacious, yet optimized. Spacious seating will allow servers and customers to walk through the dining area without hitting tables, chairs, and other customers. Make sure you optimize the space you have though. Find a seating layout that allows you to have as many tables as possible without sacrificing walking space.
- All restaurants need to provide good service. Without good service, the atmosphere quickly turns sour. Customers should be greeted at the door and seated quickly. The server should be attentive, polite, and knowledgeable. Servers with polite and conversational personalities are appreciated. Managers who go around and check on customers are also a sign of great service. Customers take note of this and are more likely to return when given great service. If you have a few bad apples in the staff, it’s best to get rid of them. Even one bad server can lose many customers.
- What keeps them coming back is great food. No restaurant that serves bad food will survive for long. Food is what makes a restaurant great. Even a restaurant with great service but bad food won’t do very well. It’s why people go out to restaurants—to eat great food they can’t (or won’t) make at home. Add some new dishes to the menu, low-calorie dishes, meals for two, etc. The possibilities are endless. See if any of your staff has any ideas about what to add. Customers may have asked them for specific dishes or types of dishes. This way, you get indirect customer input.
- Make sure customers know you want their feedback. A restaurant that doesn’t care about its customers’ experiences will never be able to improve. Some restaurants use comment cards at the table or at the hostess stand. Others use an e-mail survey with the chance to win a gift card to the restaurant.
Whether its decoration, lighting, volume, seating layout, menu, service, seating, or feedback, following these suggestions will help improve your restaurant’s atmosphere.