Customer service tips that create unforgettable experiences in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs

Let’s face it, whether you’re out to eat, servicing your car, or flying cross country, customer service shapes the way we experience a business. It could be argued that the hospitality industry’s heart and soul lie in customer service…in fact, it’s the very word itself. To be hospitable is to be friendly and welcoming to strangers and guests. We’ve all been to that bar or restaurant where the food was mediocre, the atmosphere was nothing special, but the staff was exceptional and made us feel right at home. And because of this, we were likely to return. On the other side, we’ve probably all experienced the opposite: great food, cool vibe, terrible service…making it less likely we’d ever go back.

In order to open the best restaurants, best bars, and best nightclubs, our guests had to be at the forefront of every decision. As a San Diego based management, development, and consulting company in the hospitality industry, we know how important it is to have not just good, but extraordinary customer service. We’ve created a list of our top six tips (in no particular order) on how to provide great customer service that will turn your guests into loyal customers.

Go Above and Beyond Your Guests’ Expectations

We are constantly striving to provide the best service we can to all our guests. This means knowing what our guests expect, and then rising above that each and every time. Here’s an example: Picture the best restaurant in Downtown San Diego. It’s a typical Friday night, prime time dinner hour, and the wait is around 40 minutes. A man walks in, asks the wait time, and puts him +3 on the wait list. A few minutes later, you see that same man is actually with his wife and they have two little kids. Now, they expect to wait 40 minutes…in fact, they agreed to that when they added their name to the list. So, what goes beyond that? Perhaps offering some crayons and paper so the kids have something to do. Or working a little magic and getting them sat a bit earlier. It’s these moments when you go beyond what is expected for a guest that they are likely to remember and come back!

Create Unexpected Moments

Most everyone loves a good pleasant surprise. Whether small and personal or large and grand, creating unexpected moments leave long-lasting memories of your restaurant, bar, or nightclub with your guests. This can be as simple as a surprise birthday dessert, or as extravagant as a fully personalized VIP bottle service champagne show. Those unexpected moments will leave your guests wondering, “what will they do next?”.

Kill ‘Em With Kindness…But Be Authentic

Remember the saying, “kill them with kindness”? That usually works, up until the guest notices you’re being as fake as an implant. Kindness only really works when it’s authentic. So when talking to a customer who may not be your cup of tea, make sure you’re being real while also being kind. No one likes a poser.

Listen and Respond Constructively to Feedback

Not everyone can take criticism…even if it’s constructive. But how can you expect to grow as a business if you don’t learn to listen to what your customers are saying? Sure, your culinary and bar staff may not want to hear that the fried chicken is lacking flavor or the bloody mary is watered down. But it’s important that your guests feel heard and validated. You may just earn their trust back!

Pay Attention to What Your Guests Need

Try and anticipate your guests needs before they have to ask for it. Do they have a small child? Offer a highchair. 21st birthday? They probably want some good cocktail or shot recommendations. Figure out what your guests’ need and then get it done!

Give a Sh*t…and Keep Your Passion for Hospitality Alive

It’s this simple. The second you stop caring about your guests, find a new career.


Find out more about RMD Group’s bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Find out how you can improve your existing venue, or to turn your bar, restaurant, or nightclub dream into a reality with RMD Consulting.

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