We’re just days away from the official start of summer, but for some of us, summer has already arrived. Reservations for family vacations and special events are booked, ice cream stands are a daily enticement and people are starting to soak up the sun—dining outdoors and eating late.
If you’re a restaurant or resort worker, manager or owner, you’re likely geared up and poised for a busy season. But, that doesn’t mean you aren’t combing over your checklists to make sure the season goes as smoothly as possible. Here are a few items you might want to add to or cross check with your own lists. These are some of the little details that often make all the difference:
Tell the bugs to bug off, before your customers do. Early summer is one of the best times to do bug control. Of course, bugs can really create a problem, but using pesticides can also be dangerous—so being preventative about bug control is a great way to go, first.
Refresh your first aid kits—for customers! It’s imperative that you have a comprehensive first aid kit for your employees, but it’s also important to have one for your customers. Cuts, scrapes, stings and other minor injuries can really make a customer uncomfortable. When you can offer them help in these situations, not only will they be able to enjoy their experience with you more, they’ll feel especially cared for.
Be an oasis. Depending on where you are, your customers may want to enjoy the sun, or they may seek the shade. Make sure you can provide both with your outdoor dining and relaxation spaces, but also provide extra comforts like:
Encourage eye contact. There is no doubt that sunglasses are a necessity for many people who are dining or working outdoors, and chances are, your staff may spend an hour or two with customers and never see the color of their eyes. BUT, there is something to be said for allowing customers to see your eyes. Encourage your staff to make a point of revealing their eyes and attempting eye contact at least once during an interaction with a customer. It can make an experience that much more genuine and demonstrate that you really are paying attention to your customers.
Dial in your tableside beverage temperatures. Do you have a plan for keeping wines and beverages at temp, at the table? Is your solution clean? Is it part of your staff training? On a hot day, a cool drink is welcome with most any diner, never mind that keeping wines in their ideal temperature zone provides the best chance of enjoyment.
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