You’ve had a fantastic time. You’ve been well cared for, attended to with fantastic hospitality. Your meal was wonderful, the evening was relaxed and all your friends, family, clients or colleagues have had a good time.
But then it all turns sour. It’s time to go home and you want to pay. But nobody wants to take your money!
Has this ever happened to you?
More importantly has it ever happened to any of your guests?
Where can it all go wrong?
In the restaurant you have a busy night. The table of 6 seem happy enough, and your team are now rushed off your feet with the party of 10 who arrived late and clash with another 2 groups who arrived at the same time.
So what’s the problem?
The final course
- Do we give as much attention to the final course as we do with the first two?
- How much effort goes into describing the desert
- Is the timing right, allowing sufficient time for people to appreciate their main course and wine, before thrusting the desert menu under their noses?
- If people want to take a break, are they then ignored for half an hour and then go off the idea of a desert altogether?
- Are people offered extras such as a desert wine, an extra glass of wine, digestifs?
- How easy is it for guests to catch your eye when they want the bill? Or do they feel invisible?
- How quickly does it then arrive, and what conversation takes place as it’s placed on the table – or is it just dumped and the staff member disappears again
- How do you get the balance between responding quickly but not letting the guest feel rushed?
- How are queries dealt with?
- How much conversation takes place while their card is being processed – it’s an ideal time to get some feedback and continue to build rapport with the guest.
- How well does your credit card machine work in all parts of the restaurant?
Hotel guest checkout
- At the hotel checkout you have a conference on and everyone wants to check out at the same time and are twitchy about getting to the conference on time
- If it’s a busy period do other team members help out to lessen the load and avoid queuing?
- Is the bill ready when the guest is ready to check out?
- Does red tape or your system prevent you from postponing checkout until later in the day?
- Do you have other staff on hand to deal with answering the phone?
- Is there someone to deal with complicated invoices who knows the detail?
- Is the printer well stocked with paper to print out invoices and receipts?
- Are staff trained to deal with things when they go wrong e.g. when the printer jams, when there is a query over the bill, when their credit card won’t go through?
- Is there anyone to be found in the conference suite at the end of the day?
- Does anyone ask for feedback on their day or how you can improve for next time?
- Does anyone offer to help pack up so the organiser or host can get away?
- What conversation takes place as your guests leave?
- If guests are returning to the hotel after a day out or from a conference just to collect bags, do they get the same level of courtesy as they would have earlier, or are they now just ignored?
- Does anyone offer to call a taxi, or give directions for their onward journey?
- Are they helped with their coats?
- Are they thanked for their custom?
- Do they get asked for feedback?
- Is there an invitation to see them back again?
- Do they get told of other events they might be interested in?
- Are they given anything to take away with them as a memento of their visit?
- Does anyone hold the door for them, help them with bags or offer them an umbrella if it’s raining