Restaurants: You’ve got to be consistent

I love visiting new restaurants. There’s a certain sense of excitement to not knowing what to expect. Still, like any customer, I always expect a certain standard when it comes to customer service and the customer journey. Things like a friendly welcome, knowledge about the menu and the correct table settings are a few of the expectations that any normal customer would have.

The other day I was served a compliment in a cup at an upper-class restaurant in Hyde Park – something different to what I expected and which made me feel like the most important customer on the floor. Neatly written in the foam on top were the words: “Nice earrings. You’re beautiful.” My mom was in the area and I called her. “You’ve got to come and have a cappuccino with me!” I said, convinced that her cup would be filled with a compliment too. Unfortunately, when her cup arrived, it looked like any other normal cappuccino from an ordinary restaurant. Needless to say… I was bummed.

Compliment in a cup

Compliment in a cup

Which brings me back to the topic at hand: Be consistent!

Customers like something different, but they want to know that they will receive either the same service or better service the next time around. That’s just how it is. I expected another compliment, or at least one for my mom, and got none. Wouldn’t you expect that too?

What do Restaurants need to be consistent on then?

  • Friendliness – there’s no use in welcoming one customer with a smile and the next with a frown.
  • Food and drink – customers expect food and drinks to look like on the menu. Keep it that way.
  • Timing – When you serve one customer’s meal within less than 10 minutes, the others would expect that too. You’d better keep up the pace then.
  • Small things – When one cup of coffee is served with a bevnap and the other one not, it is not consistency. Same goes for glasses without straws, bills without mints or cappuccinos without biscotti (if that’s your trademark).

Can you think of any other things that you’ve noticed restaurants slip up with regarding consistency?