Rustic designs have been increasingly popular recently. Home and lifestyle magazine The Spruce defines rustic designs as styles that incorporate nature and organic patterns and a certain aged and distressed look. Its unique modernness encourages business owners worldwide to use this formula in their own establishments, particularly restaurants.
However, decor isn’t the only thing to think about as a business owner. Creating a great customer experience is key to success. After all, customers with a positive experience are more likely to return and recommend your establishment to others. If you’ve just started a rustic restaurant or have been running one for some time, here are five tips you should consider to improve customer experience alongside aesthetics.
1. Make sure your waitstaff is friendly and attentive.
Your waitstaff is the face of your restaurant, so they must be friendly and attentive. This means greeting customers as they come in, taking their orders quickly and efficiently, being responsive to any questions or requests, and making sure their food comes out in a timely manner. For example, if a customer requests a specific drink that’s not on the menu, see if the kitchen can accommodate them.
Consider assigning each waitstaff member to a specific section if you have a larger establishment. This way, they can get to know the regular customers in their section and provide them with more personalized service. It’s also helpful to create an efficient system for taking and delivering orders so that the waitstaff can focus on providing excellent service rather than running back and forth between the kitchen and dining room.
2. Keep your restaurant clean.
No one wants to eat in a dirty restaurant. In addition to keeping the dining area clean, you should ensure the kitchen is clean and well-organized. This will help ensure that food is prepared quickly and safely. This is important because customers will notice if your restaurant is dirty. In fact, according to Technomic’s Safety and Sanitation Reigns presentation in 2021, 89% of customers said that having visible sanitation in the establishment makes them feel safer.
You can keep your restaurant clean by hiring a professional cleaning service, training your staff to be vigilant about cleanliness, and implementing policies and procedures for maintaining the kitchen and dining area clean. For example, you may want to require employees to wear gloves when preparing food and to wash their hands frequently. You may also want a policy for how often dishes and utensils should be washed.
3. Use consistent materials for decor.
When incorporating rustic design into your restaurant, you must be consistent with your materials. This means using the same type of wood, metal, and fabric throughout the space. This will create a cohesive look that customers will appreciate.
For example, if you’re using a shiplap made from barnwood, ensure all the shiplap in the space is made from barnwood. This includes any shiplap used for walls, ceilings, or furniture. This is beneficial because it creates a seamless look that makes the space feel more put-together. In addition, barnwood, in particular, is very popular right now due to its durability and minimalist charm.
4. Offer a variety of menu items.
While you may specialize in one type of cuisine, offering a variety of menu items is crucial so that there’s something for everyone. This way, even if someone doesn’t like the main dish they ordered, they’ll still have other options. For example, if you’re a pizzeria, you may want to offer a variety of pizza toppings and other Italian dishes like pasta and garlic bread.
In addition to offering a variety of menu items, you should also ensure that your menu is easy to read and understand. This means using clear descriptions and an organized layout so that customers can quickly find what they’re looking for. You may also want to highlight any specialties or seasonal dishes so that customers know what’s new and exciting at your restaurant.
5. Always serve fresh food.
This one goes without saying, but it’s important to serve fresh, high-quality food if you want customers to keep coming back. This means using fresh ingredients, cooking dishes to order, and avoiding pre-made or frozen foods whenever possible. Customers can tell when a dish is fresh, and they’ll appreciate your effort to ensure their meal is delicious.
In addition to serving high-quality food, you should also make sure it’s presented well. This means plating dishes in an appealing way and using high-quality serving ware. For example, use ceramic plates or bowls instead of paper plates. This small change can make a big difference in how customers perceive the quality of your food.
Creating a positive customer experience is essential for any business owner. Still, it can be especially challenging in the restaurant industry. By following these five tips, you can improve the customer experience in your rustic restaurant and keep customers coming back for more!