Everywhere you look, you’ll find experts preaching that consistency is the key to success. While consistency alone won’t guarantee success for a restaurant, it will go a long way in getting your business to a place where it is more profitable than ever before.
Unfortunately, achieving proper consistency is hard enough for an independent restaurant, and can seem downright impossible for some multi-location chains. But more often than not, you can make this daunting task completely doable by making a few simple adjustments in the way your business operates. Here are a few tips to help you deliver a consistent customer experience at each of your restaurant locations, no matter how many you might have.
Create a Hiring/Training Program
Customer experience consistency begins long before the customers ever come along. Without the proper hiring and training programs in place, there is no way to ensure that all of your employees are equally equipped to perform their duties. Therefore, you’re putting the integrity of your staff entirely in the hands of your franchisees or store managers. You determine your staff integrity by implementing corporate-mandated hiring and training programs for all locations to follow.
A lack of in-depth training is a very prevalent problem in the restaurant industry, with 70% of employees receiving no customer service training. So as a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to gradually train people over a longer period of time rather than do a couple of information-heavy days and then send them out to the job with little or no oversight.
“The things that we try to look for are things that we can't train people on. Attitude, smiling, work ethic, and a lot of times we're going to be hiring people who this might be their first job. It might not even be work ethic in terms of a previous job, but what do they do in school? What extracurricular activities are they involved with? We like to believe that the best indication of somebody's future is their past.” - Gabe Connell, HotBox Pizza
Standardize Menus and Recipes
When employees make dishes without much guidance, they’re far more likely to make mistakes or add different amounts of each ingredient. So depending on whether Matt at the 127th Ave location or Steve at the 52nd Street location makes your pepperoni pizza, it could look and taste very different. Even more frustrating for customers is when they travel to one location and cannot order something available at other locations.
You can get around both of these issues by standardizing your menus and recipes across all locations. By setting up master menus for your restaurant chain, you can ensure each location is offering the same items and that the PLUs for online ordering also match. You can even create separate master menus for certain restaurants to account for any regional dishes you might offer.
Once you have your master menus in place, you can look into providing each restaurant with a copy of your standardized recipe cards. This will help minimize food costs and ensure a more consistent quality of food at every one of your locations.
Use the Same POS At Every Location
It’s hard to provide the same level of service when your stores aren’t equipped with the same technology. Unfortunately, far too many restaurant chains let their franchisees use whatever point-of-sale system they want.
Once you’ve found a system with all of your POS must-haves, you should consider making it the mandatory POS for all of your locations. This will make it easier to develop the training program, have employees transfer between locations, and consistently take/complete customer orders.
By implementing training programs, master menus, standardized recipe cards in the kitchen, and a single type of POS system, you will drastically improve the consistency of your customer service experience. If you’re interested in finding other ways to improve your customer experiences, then check out our list of the biggest delivery dealbreakers for customers.
Posted on Fri, Nov 12, 2021 @ 08:11 AM.
Updated on May 5, 2022 @ 6:13 PM PST.