When the month of June dawns, the economy will inevitably be locked out because in summer the impact of tourism on growth is decisive.
Restaurants will reopen but will customer expectations be the same? Should we do as before? Will the same recipes work? What to pay attention to? What to question?
The subject of “health protection” has been deliberately left out of this article. The measures to be respected still have time to evolve several times. You will find a procession of communicators taking over the subject and in the end, I am not sure that you have to abound in an already hypertrophied communication and that your customers need to be over-reassured. Play the game and do the job but don’t overdo it.
Simple dishes that respect products at Chateau de Saint-Roux
What the crisis has accelerated
We have extensively developed it in our article ” Customer satisfaction: Codes to review “, we will aspire to less stuffy, more personal, natural, authentic, friendly, sincere relationships. The individual must be at the center of all concerns. We are about to enter a new cycle where the quest for identity will be a major social vector.
The recent Qualimétrie / Vertone study shows that in 2019, one in five French people stopped going to a restaurant in the last six months and that this is 51% because of the quality of the products, 28% for the quality service and 21% for welcoming teams. It is therefore the human that prevails here and this trend will be even more marked in the “next world”.
On the technology side, we are seeing an ever-increasing digitization of the economy. Click and Collect, online booking are constantly developing in the restaurant industry.
On the product side, I won’t surprise anyone by saying that locality, identity, appellation, product traceability, are values that have steadily increased in recent years. How many chefs are brandishing Sesame “true local seasonal product”? But it is also more attention paid to well-being, lifestyle, body care. We have seen during the confinements of farmers selling their production directly to households. Producers’ cooperative shops are springing up here and there in increasing numbers. We are talking more and more about safeguarding farmers’ income… All these signs show us that a return to more authenticity, proximity and quality is expected in the catering offer, even if this translates into slightly higher prices at the expense of reduced attendance.
What restaurateurs could review
Here are some ideas whose implementation could meet the expectations of our consumers.
As the customer will be in demand of attention, chef, chef de partie, dishwasher, maitre d’, waiter, will be just as much. They will have suffered terribly from loneliness and they will have missed the job so much, they will have missed you so much. You will be able to rely on unparalleled energy and motivation o accomplish the achievement of a skill leap unattainable in normal times. This is the time to bring them together, to welcome them, to listen to them, to consider them and to say, “This is what we are going to do…”
But also, the pleasure of working together will be your goal because it will inevitably result in better service for the client, a much richer relationship, a taste for sharing and happiness that comes back. You will retain. You show in range.
There is no job where you don’t want to be trusted or empowered. The diver will be proud to see beautiful tables thanks to platter and crockery that are as clean as they are well preserved. As in a sports team, if the pre-match coaching and debriefing are done well, everyone will know what they have to do and “it will turn out well for the client”.
Consider your customer
How many times have we experienced it as a customer? The carafe of water that doesn’t arrive, the wave to the waiter who saw you but pretends otherwise, the waiter who keeps cutting off conversations without apologizing when he intervenes or wants you to clear more enough space to serve your table, the bill that doesn’t arrive… Sit in the dining room and observe your team. Take ten minutes after service. Do like the director: Give your corrections nicely after the show and help everyone to give more delicacy and attention to the client.
Talk about your producers
58% of French people are sensitive to restaurants that are transparent in their cuisine. Unless you mainly get your supplies from Metro and you still want to do so, now is the time to talk about your small local producers, your short circuits. It can be a collection of beautiful photos hanging on the walls, a double page following the menus, a page on your website, articles in your newsletters… be creative with your team to highlight this in the best way for the customer.
Make sense of your music
Take care of your culinary signature, cultivate your difference, promote your regional specialty, quality products, be creative. As I often say, I don’t know the keys to success but the key to failure is trying to please everyone. Why should a Savoyard restaurant have a burger on its menu?
Since you still have a little time before the reopening, isn’t it time to think about your culinary identity and compose a menu that will make the difference? And consider children if families are your customers.