SOS! We decrease turnover!
Client: “A la carte” restaurants group
Our client is a catering group consisting of 10 restaurants with upscale “a la carte” service located in the same city. They are divided into different styles of cuisine: steakhouse, seafood, Mediterranean and creative “tapas” cuisine. They target medium/high and high purchasing segment. The origin of the chain is one of the steakhouses. In the last three years they had lost the lead in their respective typologies accompanied by a substantial turnover fall.
Analyzing the diversity of restaurants and segments of the group we proposed them to speak directly with clients to ascertain the reasons for the abandonment of lost customers as well as perceptions of current customers. We conducted an initial segmentation of customers divided in actual or lost ones. Within each category we identified types: Couples aged 30 to 50, couples elder than 50, families, business clients and groups of friends aged 30 to 50.
We held in depth interviews with selected people for each fixed segment and type of restaurant, where we analyze the importance and value of the elements of the service chain and the reminiscence of them in their memory to obtain an experience matrix with qualitative data.
The results of the research were very enriching and unearthed for us useful information for decision-making. In general, clients, current and lost, were satisfied with the quality of food and cooking. What generally failed was the customer treatment and the atmosphere generated at restaurants.
The restaurants group emerged from the successful experience of the initial steakhouse and apart of the cuisine style, they replicated service styles in the rest of the branches. The customer service, from reservation, to table’s service and farewell, correct and well worth in the inception, was described as distant, mechanical and cold today. In the case of Mediterranean cuisine and “tapas” restaurants it was perceived as a contradiction with the environment that seemed intended search.
Based on the researching results we recommend prioritizing its actions in three directions:
Revitalize the atmosphere of the restaurants, introducing a correct but relaxed ambience, with intangible attributes such as the welcome and farewell given by staff and tangibles ones such as lighting and music. This was recommended for all locations but with emphasis on Mediterranean cuisine and “tapas” restaurants.
Recruiting policy: prioritize the skills of service dedication and friendly nature over others in new recruitments.
Training plan for employees, conducted by Mr. Wat, focused on the new customer that requires increasingly personalized and close treatment, away from excessive politeness, especially for the segments of couples, families and groups of friends who were the more representative percentage.
In the course of the following 12 months after completing the improvements, the lost clients rate decreased, increased the number of new customers, the group’s turnover went up and appeared positively reviews valuing changes at several specialized media.