Dining Experience | 4 mins read

A Great Dining Experience Matters

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Cynthia Vespia

By Cynthia Vespia

What is a Great Dining Experience

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Consumer expectation can vary based on the individual and the type of restaurant. There are certain fundamentals which create a great dining experience.

1. Friendly, personalized service
When guests visit a restaurant they want to have an experience. This includes being addressed by the staff in a friendly manner, not like just another number. Sincere rapport from the staff can enhance a guest's experience. When possible, guests should be addressed by name.


2. Consistently great food
Enjoying a meal is the main reason people go out to a restaurant. It's important that the quality of the food is consistent each time a guest visits. If food quality suffers it's usually the result of miscommunication between the server and the kitchen based on the guest order specifications. Having quality ingredients is also important to maintain the expectation of the food quality. Each item on the menu should enhance the dining experience. It starts with menu planning and ends with food preparation and presentation.


3. A memorable atmosphere
When developing the brand identity for the restaurant, establishing the interior design plays a large role in creating a memorable experience. The color scheme, lighting, and furniture should all be chosen based on the restaurant's concept. Whether casual or fine dining, the look and feel of the restaurant can contribute to a memorable restaurant atmosphere.

  • Friendly, personalized service
  • Consistently great food
  • A memorable atmosphere
  • Efficient customer service

How Restaurants Provide a Great Dining Experience

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An enjoyable dining experience comes from a combination of elements. Guests will have their own expectations which can't always be known. Instead, strive to employ certain basic principles into a dining experience that each customer can walk away satisfied from.

1. Deliver engaging encounters
The minute a guest steps into the restaurant their dining experience should begin. The host should be professional and friendly offering a greeting immediately. If the restaurant is busy, and the guest can't be seated right away, it's important that they still be acknowledged without delay.

2. Embrace hospitality in your restaurant culture
Hospitality is immeasurable when it comes to customer satisfaction. Making each guest's visit to the restaurant a positive, and memorable experience is a part of great hospitality. The best way to make a memory is when it's tied to emotion. For example, many patrons go out to eat when they're celebrating something. If a staff member does a little something extra to highlight the occasion, the guests will remember the night fondly. It can be simple, like offering free dessert for a birthday, or offering to take a photo to capture the special day.

3. Define goals and standards
Defining goals and standards early in the development of the restaurant will eliminate confusion during a dining experience. Restaurant objectives and guidelines should be conveyed in a clear manner that each employee can understand. It's also important that management styles reflect the core standards that employees should display with customers. Clear goals for customer satisfaction can include the length of wait time for seating and service that shouldn't be gone over. Tips for communicating with customers about preferences they may enjoy can also be helpful for new servers just starting out. It's important to work as a team from the top down.


4. Develop your crew's skillset
A report from The National Restaurant Association states that 1 in 3 Americans had their first job experience in a restaurant. Each staff member will come with their own strengths and weaknesses. Onboarding and training will help smooth out rough edges for those new to the industry. However, empowering team members to develop other skills through cross-training can create an effective employee and also improves retention rates. Plus, if a staff member feels valued that will reflect in their rapport with the guests.

5. Choose technology that your guests want
For many diners, having technological conveniences highlights their evening. Easy methods of payment such as table top POS systems or mobile apps are popular among diners. The ability to order a meal or make reservations online is now the preferred method in today's world. Understanding which technology and software best suits the restaurant brand can go a long way to enhancing a guests dining experience.

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Conclusion to Dining Experience

  • A great dining experience is when a guest's needs are met to a degree that they are completely satisfied.
  • A memorable dining experience starts with great hospitality.
  • A mixture of elements can impact the guest's dining experience including service, food, and atmosphere.

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