Today, after discovering my usual breakfast spot was overly run and packed, I decided to try something different. With so many breakfast places to dine; why stick to one, right?
As I drove down the road I spotted a little diner that I hadn’t been to since I was about 4 or 5 years old. I was a bit shocked to see that the company was still in business. So I decided to drop in for breakfast.
I walked in expecting to see an empty diner, but was surprised to find one large party and a couple of tables were occupied. I received an immediate wave of nostalgia as I peered around the diner, and took my place at a booth. The server was very friendly and paid special attention to my two year old son. I could tell he enjoyed the attention, and was well behaved for the entire meal period. Also, for the first time ever, I received 3 coffee ‘warm ups’ aka refills. I was so happy with the service that I left her a tip that was almost 50% of my bill.
What did I learn from this experience?
“If you can understand your consumer’s point of view, then you can be empathetic to their needs. This way of thinking works in any industry, and is not limited to Food & Beverage”.
Customers with children can either be made; comfortable, thereby becoming repeat customers and tip well…or…uncomfortable and embarrassed (Not likely to tip well).
If special attention is given to your little customers, then their adult counterparts, ie. parents, will be eternally grateful.
Here are some tips on how you can make your little customers feel special:
- Talk to them. Sometimes children feel neglected or unimportant, especially if they have busy parents. You can let them know they are important by acknowledging them. After all, they are people too.
- Give them something to do. Paper and crayons are great distractions and keep little hands busy while they wait on their food.
- Bring their own ‘special cups’, with a nod of approval from their parents on the drink of choice of course.
- Ask and remember their name(s). Repeat their name(s) when you bring their meal, and again when your guests are ready to leave.
- Tell them goodbye when they are leaving.