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Ask any restauranteur and they will tell you how difficult it is to set up a restaurant. You need to decide what your theme or niche will be (Mexican, affordable, high-end, etc.) and find a qualified chef and staff. Then, you need to buy all the restaurant supplies you’ll need — from Ovens to Nella Cutlery, there’s A LOT that you need to remember. Once the restaurant is ready, you need to raise awareness in your local community so you can actually get customers through the door. It’s then crucial for these customers to have an excellent dining experience because restaurants rely on a good reputation to stay open.

With so many options on the market, it is easier than ever for customers who’ve had a poor dining experience at one restaurant to take their loyalty and hard earned cash to a different venue. That’s a lot of pressure on restaurant staff to create positive customer experiences, every time. So, what is the key in the dining industry to keeping customers loyal?

Expectations of Excellence

The short answer is that everything in customer experience is an expectations game.

Almost everyone has eaten out at one point or another, and in each case, we come in with certain expectations for the dining experience.

This is contingent on the type of experience the customer is seeking, which often dictates where they choose to dine. Linen tablecloths, for example, tell a different story than a drive-through window.

With so many moving parts and human touchpoints occurring in a very short time frame, one interaction with a rude sommelier within a three hour event may ruin the entire evening.

How can the restaurant industry tackle customer service triggers, exceed expectations, and beat the competition?

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