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Updated 30th May at 18.14 CET

How to improve your restaurant’s customer communication

Rita Homem's photo

Rita Homem

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Communication with your guests is 🔑key. In this guide, we’ll help you improve your restaurant’s customer service, making it more personal!

Communication obstacles

First off, customer service breaks or makes any restaurant. No matter how much you rely on technology, communication with your guests will always win.

So what are some of the challenges restaurants and customers face when talking to each other?

For customers

Common communication frustrations can be:

  • Inconsistency: different information across different channels
  • Unresponsiveness: long wait times on hold, unanswered questions either on social media or email
  • Lack of clarity: confusing online menus, unclear reservation policies, impersonal greetings
  • Outdated methods: overreliance on phone reservations or static websites which lack direct booking systems

Restaurant owners

Entrepreneurs aren’t immune to communication issues either. You’ve probably already dealt with:

  • Inefficient communication channels: sorting through different channels without a centralized system
  • Missed opportunities: failing to reach every potential customer and losing a chance to up-sell or cross-sell or even sell!
  • Negative feedback management: issues dealing with negative feedback in a timely fashion
  • Data overload: difficulty managing your customer’s data and turning it into actionable improvements

With all of these communication issues on your plate, how can you improve your restaurant’s communication with your customers? How can you improve, at the same time, your restaurant’s customer service?

We’ll share with you some tips to get started and put you on the right track.

When guests book a table at a restaurant they often expect to receive a booking confirmation by email or text. Often, this confirmation only states the date and time of your booking as well as the number of guests for the reservation. 

However, through resOS’ restaurant booking system, you can personalize communication to your guests. This means creating a better user experience and enhancing the chances of guests coming back to your restaurant. 

Follow our guide below, and personalize communication to your guests already today!

🗝️ Key elements of effective communication

There are certain factors that are the foundation for any communication strategy. These include:

Whatever medium you are using to talk to your audience — social media, email marketing, website, or even in-person! —, keep these key elements in mind.

Clarity

No matter what you are saying: always be clear. As a rule of thumb, make sure a 3rd grader would be able to understand what you are saying.

Focus first on finding a clear message and then think of ways to spice it up. Never too much that your message becomes too confusing!

Multiple channels

This might seem counterintuitive, but relying on multiple channels of communication is a life-saver. Why? Because you are molding yourself to your customers.

Do they prefer that you send emails? Do they like SMS’s more? Are they a social media addict? Whatever the case, research your guests and find what they like, but never rely on one channel alone.

Communicate through resOS booking system

Communicate with your customers according to their preferences and choose a booking system that has them all! At resOS, multiple channel integration is always on the menu!

Imagine the scenario in which you rely solely on social media to interact with your customers. The platform shuts down or is offline for a couple of hours and you’re off without a net.

If you have several different ways of communicating with our guests, it’ll be much easier to get back on track!

Active listening

Feedback is the backbone of any front-facing business. It’s how you can improve.

Listen to what your customers are saying. Is there a particular issue which can be improved upon? You’ll only find out if you listen!

Knowing how to deal with and answer negative feedback is part of the job too. Don’t be discouraged by it, but rather see it as a leap towards a greater experience.

💡Set expectations early

If your customers know what to expect, they’ll be more likely to empathize with you and any wait time they might endure.

You can set expectations by letting your guests know that, for example:

  • You usually take 1–2 days to reply to emails/direct messages/comments
  • Customers can book tables up to 24 hours in advance
  • Guests can cancel reservations up to 12 hours beforehand

These are just examples. Style these to your own restaurant’s brand voice and needs and you’ll see much happier customers!

Personalize communication

No one wants to feel like a number, much less from their favorite restaurant. Tailoring your message will foster customer loyalty, get more engagement from your guests and higher chances of them booking a table with you.

We’ll talk more about this key aspect down below, so keep on reading!

How can you use customer personalization?

Social media

Personalization also means knowing your customers:

  • their interests and hobbies
  • what they like and don’t like
  • when they’re online
  • what platforms they use

This way, social media becomes much easier. You’ll know what to post and at what time without stressing yourself out.

By the way, we have a handy guide dedicated to social media — check it out.

Email marketing

Email marketing platforms allow you to use guests variables, such as:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Country
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Company
  • Phone number

You can segment your subscriber list between these, which can be useful to personalize your communication. 

Imagine you have an ongoing campaign in only one of your restaurant’s locations. It can be a good idea to only target guests who come to your restaurant in that location.

Who doesn’t love to hear and read their own name? It makes us feel connected to the person writing. 

You can greet your customer directly with a specific code like {$name} or *|FNAME|*. This will use your subscriber’s list first name if there is one. Check your email marketing platform’s codes to know how to implement these techniques into your next emails.

Bookings

resOS’ booking system gives you the opportunity of creating multiple personalized messages, for example:

  • a booking confirmation
  • a booking status change
  • a new message for a booking

It’s super easy too! Just see below how we customized a personal message to an hypothetical guest.

Personalized communication on resOS.com
Screenshot from resOS.com

Do you want to get started with resOS?

resOS’ booking management system offers you personalized communication and much, much more. Really. We mean it. Just check our features page.

If you have any questions about setting anything up, don’t hesitate to reach out at [email protected]. We’re one email away.

Our wonderful support team will then help you right away!

resOS reservation management free trial