Article Details

Service and Experience.

Published Date: June 28, 2023

Good service and a great experience.

Get these two right, add a well-rounded, well-costed and profitable menu, and you’re on your way to achieving great things!

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Every cafe owner wants their business to run like a well-oiled machine with happy staff serving happy customers, but how do you get to that point as quickly and efficiently as possible? The answer lies in having clearly defined SOPs. Standard operating procedures sounds like a dull term that requires lots of work from you as a cafe owner to set up. Yep, we get it. However, the reality is having SOPs are one of the best ways to streamline your business and set it up for success.

Having clearly defined SOPs for things like food preparation, order taking, table service, cash handling, and cleanliness keeps staff morale high because they’re not having to guess what is expected or make decisions on the fly. They’ll know exactly what they should be doing, when they should be doing it and how they should be doing it. This will result in fewer errors, increased efficiency, consistency and quality of service. When staff have a clear understanding of expectations, they tend to feel more comfortable. The greater their comfort, the higher the chances of them staying on. This, in turn, boosts staff retention, saving you time, money, and stress. You see how it all fits together?

Workflow and layout.

For optimal customer and staff satisfaction, everything in your cafe should be as streamlined as possible, and that includes your cafe’s layout. If customers have to squeeze past other diners just to get to their table, their dining experience will be affected even before it begins. Similarly, if staff have to skirt around furniture or dodge customers while carrying food and drink, workflow and productivity will be affected. Look at counter placement, seating arrangements, self-service stations, and customer and staff accessibility. Design the space so traffic flows smoothly, congestion is eliminated, and interaction between staff and customers is optimised.

Service speed.

Systemising and streamlining as many operations as possible will reduce wait times and enhance the dining experience for your customers. Efficient service is critical, especially during peak periods. Examine every step of the process, from order taking to food preparation and delivery, then evaluate and optimise each stage. Consider systemising the ordering and payment process through technology such as order at table, relevent POS systems or other mobile ordering apps.

Menu design, visibility, and variety.

Your menu is at the core of the dining experience, so make sure it is well-designed, visually appealing, simple to access and easy to understand. Consider providing a variety of options to accommodate different tastes and dietary needs and clearly indicate any allergens or special ingredients. Keep things fresh and interesting by reviewing and updating your menu regularly. You could also offer seasonal or limited-time items to generate customer interest and enthusiasm.

Ambience and atmosphere.

It doesn’t matter how good your food is, if the ambience is not good, customers are less likely to return, so give some thought to the type of atmosphere you want to generate. Try to match the lighting, music, decor and seating to the cafe concept you want to create. Are you aiming for cosy and intimate? Vibrant and energetic? Bright and airy? Whatever vibe you try to create, make the space welcoming and inviting. An appealing atmosphere improves the overall dining experience and encourages customers to stay longer.

Attention to detail.

Paying attention to the small details can make a big the difference between a customer patronising your cafe or going elsewhere. Nothing turns a cafe customer off quicker than a lack of hygiene and cleanliness so keep your standards high and consistent. Pay attention to good presentation, from your staff’s appearance to the plating of food and beverages. Train your staff to offer personalised service and respond quickly to customer requests.

Be that cafe that stands out from the rest for all the right reasons. Secure an Operational session to make your cafe shine, and stay ahead of the game.