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How to Give Customers the Extra Information They Want

Tourists Love Helpful Info From Restaurant StaffBeyond recommendations about food & beverage, there are many other questions that locals and tourists ask. Use this list to build your ‘fact file’ for staff, and quiz them regularly to check they’re offering correct answers.

#1 issue for most managers is ‘staff motivation and attitude’. The interesting thing is, when staff are helpful to customers, they receive positive feedback and reinforcement. Food & beverage knowledge is one thing, but local information and recommendations can really make a difference to the customer experience. Build up staff local knowledge and their ability to assist, and everyone will smile more.

Make sure your staff can respond to questions like these:

  • When did the business start, and who were the first owners?
  • If there have been other owners since, what has changed?
  • This place is unusual – what’s it about?
  • Do you do takeout, catering, functions etc?
  • What’s the website, phone number, fax number and email address?
  • I want to come by local transport – what bus, train etc do I use?
  • Phone number and website for transport information.
  • Are taxis easy to find – what number do I call to make a booking?
  • Best place for parking – long and short stay (including insider tips that only the locals know).
  • How much does it cost – described in a way that makes it sound affordable.
  • If parking is difficult, best way to tactfully advise this without losing the booking.
  • If they are worried about security for their car, what would you advise?
  • Where is an ATM teller machine?
  • Where is a local bank and when is it open?
  • Where is the post office or where can I buy a stamp? How much does postage cost on a postcard or letter?

Local attractions and points of interest:

  • Places that would appeal to a family with young children.
  • Places that would appeal to people that like shopping.
  • Places that would appeal to a group of seniors who are out for the day.
  • Places that would appeal to a group of sport players who are staying locally for a competition.
  • Places that would appeal to people who like walks and outdoor activities.
  • A well-known tourist attraction – hours of opening and costs etc.
  • Local bookshops, fashion shops, music shops, gift shops and department stores for browsing.
  • Where’s a shop nearby where I can download the images from my computer onto a CD?
  • Is there an internet café nearby?

About Ken Burgin

Ken Burgin works with Profitable Hospitality - a leading industry website offering a wide range of management resources and cost-control systems for restaurants, cafes, hotels and bars.

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  1. These are all good things for your employees to know. But, are they willing to take the time to learn this stuff if they don’t already know it? I would think it would be easy to manage in larger/tourist cities where there is a lot going on. But what about smaller places?

    • It all goes back to the perception of value that customers are looking for more and more these days. After the price wars of 2009, most restaurants are not really in a position to discount their product more. That means repeat business is going to come from value-added things like having all the extra information mentioned in this article. The reality is, those that don’t take the time to train their staff on the little things are going to lose out to the places that do.

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