Hospitality In The New Normal: How To with Kelli Laube

waitresses with face masks
Kelli Laube, hospitality trainer at restaurantowner.com, gives 5 specific pointers on making guests feel welcome generally and during a pandemic.

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**AVAILABLE NOW: COVID-19 E-Book: 7 Tips and 21-Point Checklist to Prepare For Reopening. Download Your Free Copy.**

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What does an effective table touch look like when you’ve got fewer tables and the last thing people want is you touching them?

How do you make people feel at home at your restaurant when they’re literally at home getting their food delivered? 

If you have been thinking about these types of questions, you need to watch this episode of Give An Ovation. 

Kelli Laube of restaurantowner.com is a seasoned hospitality trainer who had some amazing insights on how to maintain great hospitality even when typical operations have been flipped on their heads due to COVID-19. Here are some quick tidbits: 

1. Tailor Your Service To The Individual

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to creating a great experience for your guests, so Kelli recommends training your staff on how to read an individual, gauge their mood, and then act accordingly. What does their body language say? Where are their eyes looking? Why are they coming to the restaurant? Is it a business lunch or a birthday party? All of these questions should indicate to servers how to act most optimally.

2. How Do You Want Them To Feel At Each Touchpoint?

Curbside, takeout and delivery certainly take a lot of the guest experience out of your hands, but their are still small instances of interactions where you can insert some energy and hospitality. For example, the few seconds when customers pick up their food, when they talk to an employee on the phone, or the doorstep delivery scene. Smiling, positive voice inflections, and upbeat body language all still go a long way in these scenarios. 

3. Make Sure They Feel Heard

When things inevitably go wrong and a customer complains, perhaps more important than the compensatory actions you take are that the customer knows you’re actually listening. Nothing is more annoying than automated messages from companies that never lead to real change. 

4. Acknowledge, Apologize, Act

These are Kelli’s three A’s of guest recovery.  Remember, these angry customers can become some of your most loyal patrons if you handle this right. 

5. Put Out Good Vibes

People are scared and hurting right now, and restaurants offer a source of solace. It only takes half a second to create a first impression, so make every second count!

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Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole podcast, as well as other interviews with restaurant/business gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation” on YouTube, podcast.ovationup.com, or your favorite place to listen to podcasts. 

And don’t forget to visit restaurantowner.com and follow Kelli on LinkedIn for more from her!

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