Personal Attention- Don’t be afraid to go up to tables and introduce yourself and ask how their meal is. Customers will feel very special that they owner took the time to check on them. You don’t need to have a lengthy conversation with each table (many customers would much rather you kept it short). Just give a brief introduction and tell the customer if they have any problems, to let you know.
Get to Know Your Regulars- Regular customers are the backbone of any successful restaurant. Get to know their names, spouses name, kids name. Ask about what they do for a living. If you have a regular who comes in to watch every baseball game on the pub TV, then talk sports (you can fake an interest in sports, I have proven this many times). Show the customer that you enjoy seeing them (not just their wallet) and make them feel at home.
Address Problems Immediately- Inevitably you will encounter customer complaints. Don’t shy away from them. Instead, acknowledge the problem and offer some type of solution, whether it is a rain check for running out of dessert or a free round of drinks because the service was slow. Read on to learn how to handle customer complaints.
Freebies- Once you have established a solid customer base, you can offer an occasional free drink, dessert, maybe even a meal to a regular customer. It doesn’t have to be done a regular basis (that would defeat the purpose of charging people to eat at your establishment). However, giving a free appetizer to a favored bar patron is one of the best ways to show good will toward customers.
Set an Example for Your Staff - Your staff will follow your lead. If you are friendly and charming to the customers, then your staff follows suit. Lead by example, so that when you are not present, your customers will still receive the same five-star service they have come to expect.