When I ran high-volume restaurants for 20 years, the acronym F.A.C.E.S. served as our team mantra. Every day in every restaurant across America, we are seeing and serving new guests every day… new Faces, if you will.
Unique faces that perhaps know nothing about our restaurants and what makes them special. New faces you want to return. To do this, your entire team needs to serve each and every guest as if they were a regular. That’s where F.A.C.E.S. comes in.
F.A.C.E.S. stands for:
F = FRIENDLY
Imagine if every customer left your restaurant feeling like they were a long-time friend even if they were a first time visitor. It was our restaurant’s M.O. for every staff person crossing a guest’s path to authentically smile, look them in the eye, thank the customer and invite them to return. This is just one of many ways to build that all-important “affinity” with your clientele. Remember, affinity is free and a true “competitive advantage”. Finding new customers is expensive.
A = ATTENTIVE
A guest has expectations and needs when they dine out in your restaurant. Its one thing for a customer to make a request, but entirely another for your staff to anticipate needs before being asked and over-deliver on the experience. This is the difference between running a restaurant and building a “brand”.
Sometimes, the service team can be a little overzealous at tables. It’s a fine balance between being attentive and available or obtrusive. Train your staff on finding that all-important balance.
C = CARING
If you’ve done your job well, you’ve hired staff with pleasing personalities that genuinely care about each and every guest’s experience. I’ve always believed in hiring for personality, attitude and a genuine desire to serve over experience. You’ll know you’ve arrived when your team feels more like family than staff, and your customers are singing your restaurant’s praises.
E = EFFICIENT
We’ve all visited restaurants with a long wait at the host station, empty but uncleared tables and a service staff that’s surviving but not selling. That all too common expression “in the weeds” is far too common. The guest experience suffers along with the restaurant’s reputation and all-important word of mouth marketing. Truly great restaurants cross-train their staff to multi-task, become adept at other positions, anticipate needs and deliver consistently great dining experiences. Accomplish this and your online reviews will soar, new customers will seek out your restaurant, regulars will return and everyone will bring their friends.
S = SELLING
Many restaurants train on Service, but few train staff to SELL!
Once again, every day new customers come in your door for a variety of reasons. Most know nothing about what makes your restaurant unique or what they’ll enjoy. Your menu is a marketing piece, but your service team are ambassadors that bring your restaurant experience to life for the guest. Hospitality is so much more than delivering food and drink. Its really about training your staff to educate, inform and entertain your customer – every table, every time! Do this well and your cash register will ring.
So there you have it. Five simple letters that deliver a powerful competitive advantage. More importantly, truly memorable dining experiences that build your business and your brand. Add F.A.C.E.S. to your next pre-shift meeting, as well as your culture of hospitality and watch new customers become regular visitors and old friends.
Go out there, get that restaurant wow factor, and Rock Your Restaurant!