Services are considered to be heterogeneous, intangible, inseparable and perishable – they should be consumed by the guest as and when they are being produced by the person who is offering the service/ the service provider.
When one goes to a restaurant or their favorite eatery, it is possible that the server may give a big smile today and the similar smile and warmth may be missing the next time.
Hence, the term heterogeneous, and of course, perishable as well, because that smile is going to be lost if not received by the customer as and when it is being given. The smile cannot be touched or stored hence, intangible.
To ensure that each and every team member gives away the same level of genuine smile is a task in itself and this challenge applies to all kind of service delivery ranging from order-taking, serving food and beverage, taking care of the guests, delighting guests, etc. at the restaurant, in delivery or take-away.
Service and its immaculate delivery are certainly a challenge as well as an opportunity for any eatery and its management/ ownership. To make the most of this opportunity and ensure that service excellence prevails at all times, team’s training and development is paramount.
Should F&B team’s training and development be on the priority list of a restaurateur? – A simple answer is – an absolute YES. Let’s look at the advantages of focusing on improving and enhancing team’s service skills and delivery with help of training and development:
Excellent guest experience: when a server has been well-trained how to serve a customer by understanding, meeting and exceeding their expectations – the only result would be an experience to remember by the patron.
At our restaurants – Kebabs & Curries Company (KCCO), team members are trained at daily briefings (with Team Cards) to greet and welcome each and every guest with joined hands and smile – just this simple act when done by each and every team member, creates an experience to remember and cherish for the customers.
Higher Team member’s satisfaction: We all feel happier, confident and on the path to success when we get to learn something new on a continuous and consistent basis. Training programs for team members ensure that the motivation level of all employees remain high as they develop new skills and get better at their job, while creating happy moments for their patrons. Growth and development could form the base of one’s happiness and satisfaction at work.
Word-of-mouth marketing for the eatery: When a customer receives excellent service at an eatery, he or she is bound to talk about it to friends, relatives and his/ her acquaintances. This kind of WOM marketing (Word-of-mouth) is ideal to become popular and gain new customers while increasing revenue as well. WOM can only be achieved when we delight our existing customers – training of teams makes this possible.
Enhanced customer loyalty and constant repeat business: It is an expensive affair to acquire new customers through big advertising and marketing campaigns. The finest form of maintaining and growing the business is having repeat business wherein our guests are loyal to our eatery and they return to us – all thanks to the flawless service standards, which are only possible with focused training.
Higher revenue achieved via up selling & suggestive selling: There are lot of training programs available online and offline to teach restaurant teams on up selling and suggestive selling. My favorite is up selling training by Bob Brown. He has time tested and well-tried methods on how to up sell which serves a dual purpose – better guest satisfaction and robust topline for the eatery. Again, all attainable through rigorous training sessions.
Talent on the bench: As an eatery’s management and ownership aims to train and develop more and more of its team members – guest experience, team’s loyalty towards the workplace and high service standards become a norm across. This also results in developing talent from the given team for upcoming hearty growth & expansion of restaurant business as talent is already on the bench waiting to be deployed – again huge thanks to training and development.
Business of food and beverage is a dynamic, ever-changing and extremely demanding from the management and owner’s point of view. It is crucial to deliver the best we can in terms of services across our team members for each and every guest.
A server may be smiling at numerous guests throughout the day and may get tired smiling, however, he or she should always remember that each smile is unique and special for every guest who is receiving it. Hence, utmost care should be taken to provide flawless service by everyone on the team to patrons who are keen on receiving our services so that we can build an eatery and a F&B brand to last on the foundation of stellar service.
Varun Behl is the Managing Director of KCCO India Pvt. Ltd. Behl is a Jaipur based restaurateur operating a chain of restaurants and QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants). Behl is a seasoned food & beverage and hospitality management professional with experience spanning over 17 years; a decade of which is with Marriott International in India and its global operations. Food and beverage and entrepreneurship are his forte which he lives every day and is keen to share his insights with peers and mentees alike.