Many factors, including visuals, messaging, personality, and value proposition, go into creating a company’s brand identity. For managers working in the restaurant industry, nothing does a better job of bringing that brand identity to life across locations than consistency. Your marketing department is hard at work delivering a consistent message across various channels, but are you doing enough to deliver in-house consistency? Delivering a uniform experience across locations ensures that customers feel comfortable choosing any of your locations, regardless of where they are. This consumer confidence is the key to building brand loyalty, which drives profits.
How valuable is customer loyalty? Check out these stats (Zippia):
- 65% of the average company’s business comes from existing customers.
- Loyal customers spend 67% more than new customers.
- On average, 80% of profits come from 20% of customers.
- Highly engaged customers will make a purchase 90% more often.
- Increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits by 25%-95%.
- 86% of loyal consumers will recommend a company to friends and family.
On the other hand, that loyalty is fragile and easy to lose:
- The average company loses 23%-30% of customers yearly due to a lack of loyalty.
- 74% of loyal customers will switch brands if you don’t satisfy them.
- 80% of customers will likely switch brands after just one bad experience.
- 73% of customers will stop doing business with a brand after three or fewer bad customer service experiences.
You’ve got to work hard to keep customers happy. To gain and retain loyal customers, multi-unit restaurant managers must standardize various operational aspects, from customer service to food preparation methods, then hold front of house and back of house staff accountable for adhering to these carefully defined protocols.
We’ve got 10 actionable tips to help you maintain and improve front of house and back of house consistency. By implementing these strategies, you’ll be better equipped to deliver a dependable brand experience to build customer loyalty and boost profits.
“People like consistency. Whether it’s a store or a restaurant, they want to come in and see what you are famous for.”
– Businessman and Investor Millard “Mickey” Drexler
Front of House Tips
The front of house serves as the face of your restaurant brand, setting the stage for the diner’s interaction with your brand. Consistency in this area is crucial for building customer trust and loyalty. Ensure an identical experience across location with these tips:
1. Train Front of House Staff
Standardized training modules ensure that every team member is equipped with the same service values and practices regardless of location. Implement role-specific training and periodic refresher courses to keep the staff updated on the latest service expectations.
2. Make Your Menu Consistent
Standardize menu items, presentation, and pricing to meet customer expectations and reduce operational complexities. Implement centralized menu management systems to update offerings across all locations simultaneously.
3. Keep Everything Clean and Sanitary
A sparkling front-of-house is non-negotiable. Implement regular cleaning schedules and sanitation checks to ensure each location meets the brand’s cleanliness standards. Use checklists to track cleaning tasks and ensure that they are properly completed in a timely manner.
4. Emphasize Ambiance and Décor
The atmosphere and decor of a restaurant play a significant role in shaping customer perceptions. Regular audits help ensure that each location adheres to the brand’s aesthetic guidelines. Pay attention to details like lighting, furniture, and background music to offer the most uniform experience.
5. Carefully Manage Seating and Table Turnover
Effective table management is crucial for optimizing customer flow and maximizing seating capacity. Leverage strategies like floor planning, reservation management, and real-time table tracking to minimize customer wait times.
Back of House
The back of the house, where food preparation and other crucial activities take place, is any restaurant’s operational backbone. Ensuring consistency in this area maintains food quality, safety, and overall operating efficiency. Implement these tips to streamline and optimize operations:
6. Train Back of House Staff
Staff training is as important for back of house staff as it is for those who work directly with customers. Implement a centralized training system to keep all staff aligned on food preparation techniques and safety protocols. Offer updates when you change the menu to reinforce best practices and ensure compliance with current brand standards.
7. Emphasize Food Safety
Implementing and maintaining food safety protocols ensures a safe and efficient dining experience. Meet health and safety standards by developing protocols for proper food handling, storage, and preparation methods, demanding that all back of house staff members follow them.
8. Manage Inventory Effectively
Nothing disappoints a customer more than finding out their favorite dish is unavailable. That negative experience leads to a loss of customer trust. Careful inventory management ensures your restaurants always have the necessary ingredients and supplies to offer a consistent menu and dining experience.
9. Maintain Quality Control
Regular audits are the only way to guarantee the consistency of food served across all locations. Utilize standardized evaluation criteria and consider implementing digital field assessment solutions for real-time monitoring and actionable insights.
10. Monitor Metrics
A data-driven approach enhances operational efficiency and creates a more consistent customer experience. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as order preparation time, food wastage rates, and equipment efficiency provide valuable insights into areas needing improvement. For the best outcomes, monitor performance metrics in real time and share information with all stakeholders as quickly as possible.
Improve In-House Consistency with Technology
Digital checklist solutions provide real-time data and actionable insights that ensure a consistent customer experience at every one of your restaurants. Look for a system that is intuitive and easy to use on any tablet or smartphone. Customizable dashboards will ensure that your new platform meets your company’s specific needs. Opt for software that offers integrated temperature monitoring and food labeling to maximize food safety and meet all safety protocols consistently. Restaurants everywhere are improving consistency with DailyChex and AuditApp by MeazureUp. Learn more about what we can do for you. Schedule a demo today.