How good is your general manager?

My team and I have a favorite Japanese Restaurant on Castro Street.  We love it so much that we go about 3 times a week for dinner.  Average order value is about $15 and we usually go with a group of 4 people, which means each month we bring in $720 worth of business.

It’s not the best Japanese food in the world, but it does have the best General Manager in the world – Robert.

Robert is awesome.  He welcomes us by name each time we enter the restaurant and provides us with Hot Sake on the house.

That’s the reason we keep coming back: recognition and free hot sake.

On average, we drink 2 bottles every visit.  I asked Robert how much it costs him to give us a free bottle of sake.  He chuckled a little and said, “To be honest, a bottle of hot sake only costs us a dollar.”

It’s not the dollar value that makes my friends and I feel special, it’s that Robert keeps providing us with bottles of hot sake without hesitation – because he appreciates our business.

At a cost of $24, he is able to consistently bring $720 worth of business each month.  If you could invest $24 to make $720 in a month, would you do it?

How good is your General Manager?

The General Manager is more than someone who runs the restaurant; he’s the gatekeeper, your right-hand man, the person that the customers build a relationship with.

The General Manager makes the restaurant feel like home.

Meet and Greet

The General Manager should always take the time to introduce himself to the people dining at his restaurant.  Shake their hands and remember their names; go out of your way to make them feel at home.

The best way to remember a name is to ask for their business card.  Ask customers what they do for a living and request a business card to stay in touch.  With their permission, you can even add them to your email list.

Join a Rewards Program

The General Manager can’t possibly meet every customer and be at the restaurant 24/7.  To make sure that everyone gets special treatment, incorporate a rewards program for your best customers.  Lets call it a “VIP Program” to make them feel extra special.

If a customer has been at your restaurant three times in the past month, then perhaps they deserve a complimentary dessert.  But what if you’re not there; what if this is the first time you saw the customer but its their 4th time at your restaurant.  To avoid these situations use a rewards program so the customer and the general manager know when it’s time to get special treatment.

Ask for Feedback

Survey your best customers to get their direct feedback.  Learn how you can improve your service and food.  The simple act of allowing your customers to provide their feedback makes them feel special and like they’re contributing to the restaurant.

Give them a place to vent if they’re upset; give them a place to give compliments when they’ve had a wonderful experience.

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