When my wife and I go out for dinner, sometimes I wonder if it’s purely for social reasons or there is another underlying reason.
For myself, dining out is more of a research, than a social function. I make mental notes of the quality of the services, for ideas of the staff training and staff selections. In order to make comparisons of other staff experiences from other restaurants. I also make notes of the menu design, layout and pricing as well. I then make observations of the layout of the dining room and the number of tables. I also of course, make mental notes of how the food is presented and the portions as well.
But as of late, I have also been making note of the customers that are visiting these dining establishments. I try breakdown this down into different age groups, as well as to whether they are family groups, couples (whether dating or maybe married), and singles. I then make of as to the time of day as well as the weather, day in the week or weekends.
All this observations and mental notes, helps me have a clear understanding of what my competitions are doing and how I can make myself better than the others in my area.
It also allows me to see what is working and is not working, were it comes to drawing in certain customer groups. It shows me how I can make my menu more appealing, how I can do a better plate display of what is coming out of my kitchen and most important of all, it helps my restaurant make a better profit in the end.
All these are free learning tools, everyone who owns or manages a restaurant, whether it’s a small diner or café catering to 40 customers to a large-scale establishment. You must continuously educate yourself in order to provide a better service to your customers.