The restaurant's customer experiences begin at hidden places.

What’s the fish-guy know about your restaurant’s customer experiences?

When it comes to customer experiences, if a server is proud to describe the fish special (and has tasted it!) or brags about the talented bartender’s latest creation (tasted that too!), something magical can happen. And while our guests settle in, taking in the details of their surroundings, a particular kind of journey begins to take shape. It’s like a movie’s opening credits.

This movie cannot play out in the way it should if the kitchen isn’t setup or the bartender would rather be acting. As each guest’s dialogue unfolds, emotions driven by instincts will, in fact, record everything from the beginning just as if this were a real film production. But where does this customer movie really start?

Let’s ask the “fish guy”. Let’s see what he thinks. What’s his level of interest in the restaurant’s production value? If the contents of each fish delivery was not inspected for thirty days, would there be risk of inferior product reaching the guest’s table?

Hidden opportunities for great customer experiences

The potential for inferior product reaching our guest’s table begins with what the fish guy knows about your restaurant. What the fish guy knows is up to us. It’s one of many relationships that is our brand in it’s raw, unedited form. It’s also a bellwether for the entire eco-system of those we depend upon to run our restaurant- and what happens when we’re not looking.

Cultivating these relationships’ potential opens doors that benefit everybody. Consider what may happen by inviting the fish guy into the restaurant as a guest- and to enjoy this movie from a guest’s perspective? Has he experienced what happens from the time a delivery comes in through the back door to the time when it’s lights, camera, action?

Now, the real question: who is getting to know who?: Is the person that delivers the fish actually known as “the fish guy”? Does the dishwasher know this person’s name? Does the service team know this person’s name? What about our beverage delivery person? Who is that? What’s their favorite spirit or wine? For what reasons?

Knowing little things about the people that come into our restaurant through the kitchen’s door, week after week, will open untold opportunities. Like our guests, they are not no-named extras used to decorate the background.

Are “vendors” treated as extras in the background?

Do our service and culinary team members understand and appreciate those who supply us with the product we sell? If so, how is this expressed? If a manager, server, chef or other team member needs something, is communication at the same level of respect if they were speaking to “Big Bucks Bob & Betty”? Or does their humanity change?

How they treat us will reflect how we treat them. And somewhere in their hierarchy of priorities will be subtle decisions that impact our guests’ experiences. Cultivating the often hidden value of these relationships, and the passion and knowledge they can offer, can add a little something extra to their day, bring life into what they do, and keep their passion alive. That’s extraordinarily transferable. And through the very back door of our restaurant, fresh perspectives encourage stories and anecdotes only they can tell. Invite them to dinner. Thank then for taking care of the restaurant. Invite them to teach what they know about their product with the service team and culinary team. Seek to learn from what they may know.

Part of the family

When we tap into these extended resources, our service teams can engage our customers with a level of confidence that genuinely feels the better product. The emotion and fresh ideas brings authority and authenticity to the table. When we can do this, there’s an unmistakable spark turns a guest experience into something they want more of. It’s the magic the keeps them coming back for the next sequel.



Adam Christopher
Founder & CEO, RestaurantConnect
Software & systems for a better restaurant.

What’s the fish-guy know about your restaurant’s customer experiences? 2018-04-18 10:36:29