How to deliver a superb food retail customer experience

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Customer service can make or break a food business. Word of mouth remains one of the best ways to attract new customers, and with the increase in online review sites such as TripAdvisor, making mistakes can become very public.

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Meet and Greet

Make sure that every customer who walks through the door is greeted personally, as soon as possible. Even if your waiting staff team is busy, ask them to keep an eye out for new arrivals, and to just say hello and ask them to wait.

Don’t Keep Them Waiting Too Long

Don’t leave a group of people around a table without anything to do! Get menus to them as soon as possible, and take the drinks order early. Offering a free appetiser such as breadsticks can help give the illusion they’ve been served more quickly.

Make it an Occasion

It isn’t just about the food; people also want to eat out for the experience. Give them something to remember, whether it’s the decoration, the food, or the entertainment. This doesn’t need to be gimmicky – it could, for example, be something like having a large selection of desserts available in a display freezer such as this, and taking customers over to choose their own.

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Dealing with Problems

They say that in customer service, every problem gives you the opportunity to turn that customer into your best friend. People don’t really mind when things go wrong; it’s how their complaints are handled that makes the difference. Welcome complaints! Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention, and mean it. It would be far worse if they had left feeling unhappy and told other people about it! For more about welcome complaints, read this from Thriving Small Business. On a similar note, leaving a customer comment card is a great way to find out about minor niggles that will help you improve your service.


Free Wi-Fi is something that many customers value. But you can utilise it to your advantage by looking at apps that let them do things like ordering at the table. It’s also a great way to make use of social media to get them sharing their experience – choose a hashtag and suggest if they use it in their post, they’re in with a chance of winning free drinks.