I was working with a large restaurant chain to help them identify the issues in their restaurant that were causing a slow and steady downward sales trend.
I sat observing the daily routine of the server and manager interactions with guests. Their food and service seemed great so I decided to spend time in the restaurant just observing when I noticed something. The speaker above my table was blown out and all that was audible was a kazoo band so I moved to a different table. As I sat down, I also noticed that one of the lights above my table was shining directly in my eyes like a Klieg light at an airport so I got up and sat at another table. I then started sitting in every seat in the restaurant and making notes. It seemed that almost every table had an issue such as leg pinching upholstery tears, wobbly tables, one table with a direct view into the the restroom, glares off car windshields, burnt out lights and several tables that I could watch employees smoking cigarettes outside during their break.
Their food and service was good but that’s where it ended. The guest experience was compromised not by their food, beverage or service but by guest experience once they sat down. I invite you to become a guest and sit in every seat in your restaurant and see what your guest sees, hears and feels. Yes, it’s true “atmosphere will make you stronger.”
Clint Schwald, Big Idea Marketing, Inc.