10 Things Your Guest expects

  • Cafe

10 Things Your Guest expects

Posted on 20/09/2021

It is not enough just to open a restaurant to generate the income. It is also not only about the passion for cooking. You need to manage the business effectively, recruit and train a professional team, deliver positive experience to guests during the customer journey in the restaurant. When you work in the HoReCa industry- no matter you are an executive, a mid-management or a row worker- you serve somebody all the time. Question is how to build the positive experience of our guests, how to make them come back to us? Does only perfectly cooked dish have the key influence? Below we present how to create the point of difference, other than perfect menu.

So, here are 10 steps that will help you attract loyal customers to your restaurant:

  1. Study your target audience. This is what you have done before you started the business. Now then when the restaurant is already open, refine the image about your guest again. How old is he, what are his interests, problems, needs, expectactions? When you know exactly the portrait of your client, all that remains is to hit the ad, offer to the target group directly.

  2. Find your character/ point of difference. There are hundreds of restaurants, cafes, brasseries, taverns, gastropubs, grill bars and so on around the client. To be successful, your offer must be different. Find your own and unique flavor.

  3. Work on authenticity. If you are buying products from the local farmers and food artisans- tell about this in the menu and promote on your social media channels.

  4. Build the unique and friendly atmosphere in the restaurant. Despite the tasty cuisine, atmosphere and service standards can make the point of difference for clients as well. You need to take care about positive experience of your quest at each touchpoint in the restaurant. The overall experience remains - feeling that makes you return to this place again and again, all small details: smiling waiter, friendly interior, music, lighting, ventilation, parking spaces, toilets and much more.

  5. Create a sincere hospitality system. Nothing will help if the work of your staff is not set up correctly. A grumpy waiter will undermine all your efforts to create a cozy atmosphere and quality cuisine. Moreover, the emotional component affects the guests more than the functional one: they can forgive some hitch in cooking, but they will not forgive a sluggish, indifferent waiter with a stone face.

  6. Delight guests with wow effects. Think about what you can offer them without spending a lot of money on it (greeting regular guests by name, treating them with a hot drink in winter while waiting for an order, a nice sweet gift for a client's child, a special table setting for a special guest, etc.). All small things really can make the difference. Do not neglect them.

  7. Integrate social media to attract clients. Your guest may like to take pictures of food, maybe selfies and post them at social media. Clients' photo, positive opinion will the best marketing for others, which can encourage to come and try. We all trust reviews with real photos more than just text.

  8. Do not neglect master classes, dedicated events for your guests. Who doesn't want to touch the secrets of fine dining? A master class led by chef in a favorite restaurant can be a great opportunity to build loyalty among demanding clients- it is really added value.

  9. Be flexible. What will happen in your restaurant if a guest asks for an extra pot of hot water for tea? What if the kitchen closes at 22:00, and the guest decides that he still wants dessert at 22:00? How will your staff deal with this situation?

  10. Consider a discount system. And it does not mean to provide a discount for everybody: clients of high social status may don't need 10% discount for all other visits. Therefore, it is possible to prepare some "club cards" that give access to special events - wine tastings, dinners, master classes. If you serve family audience, it  is beneficial when a part of the restaurant bill is returned to the card. Do not hesitate to observe the practices of competitors and choose the best option for your guests.


Ask yourself how willing you are to deviate from the rules and standards for the sake of the guest. Who does your rules work for: business convenience or guest comfort? Refusing a guest expectation is often unprofitable. He does appreciate and remember your flexibility. You can have a fancy Fine Dining restaurant or a corner kebab shop, you can have a casual restaurant, fast food or a niche boutique coffee shop, you can have amazing décor, great background music, you can have smart marketing and PR, you can have great looking servers, you can have all the things you like, but the overall customer experience may be more important to restaurant business than any other factor.