Stop… Look around your restaurant or bar or café and think about who is in it. Who is the most valuable?
If your first thought is customers, think again. The customer isn’t always right, they are often just hungry and not wanting to make decisions right now.
This is probably the key issue our industry ignores, customers don’t want food. They want to trust you to feed them or make their drink.
What this means is the product isn’t so important, the customer isn’t decisive, right or the most important person. You are. Very very very closely followed by your staff.
You need your customers to know and trust your staff to the point where you are comfortable telling them when a particular dish is not as good as another they haven’t tried. Or that their favourite drink is good, but they should try x y and z to work out exactly what it is they love to drink.
Price means nothing if you have trust. The biggest hospitality names in the world are built on trust. McDonalds is massive because of trust.
Trust comes from one thing – following through on the message you offer.
Heston Blumenthal is all about challenging traditional cooking, even when cooking traditional dishes. So customers expect eccentric dishes and service.
His restaurants also pitch at the elite market requiring a special style of service. The amount of cafés that emulate this style is truly dumbfounding.
This is no different from McDonalds being all about reliable and consistent food, family friendly atmosphere and fast service.
They both deliver.
Who are you? Who are your staff? Don’t tell me your food is different or you have the best cocktails.
Show me who you are and make me believe the story you want to tell me. Make me trust you.