Increasing your restaurant sales through a deliberate guest journey

For a restaurant business to be successful - and highly profitable it can often be attributed to having solid repeating, loyal customer - from having a positive guest experience.

Guests are on an emotional journey when they visit your premises. By understanding and empathising with them lays the groundwork for not only meaningful interactions but to ensure that this emotional experience is a positive one

For this to be successfully delivered each and every time it needs to be clearly mapped providing a tangible framework for staff to follow. This allows your staff to stay a step ahead of the guest providing a pathway for a great experience and service.  

It’s become very clear the way and reasons, why people go out, has changed and so have their expectations. Hospitality businesses must invest in becoming experience-led which means optimising every guest touchpoint at every opportunity.

But what is a guest journey map? As The Hospitality Masters, we provide a guest journey map as a tool to visualise the experience of you interacting with your guests. It looks at key emotional moments of the guest journey and maps them out. It helps identify which touchpoints are needed to help achieve these outcomes which in turn lead to the overall goal of making great sales.

This map is critical because it forces you to look at how your guests actually experience your restaurant versus how you think they do. By better understanding your guests, you can better deliver on their expectations in a consistent and meaningful manner. It also as already stated importantly opens the door for enhanced sales and better spend per head.

But why and how does this lead to higher sales?

  1. It identifies critical touchpoints.

Every guest touchpoint presents an important opportunity to connect and engage with the guest’s experience both in the short term and long term, but some are more critical than others.

These ‘moments of truth’ are key milestones on any guest journey. Putting yourself in your guest’s shoes helps you to understand them on another level and enables a business to plan its communications to match. All people want to buy from people that they know like and trust. You have a short space of time to gain this trust and get them to like and feel that they know you.

  1. It helps you create more tailored experiences.

Different guest wants different experiences. By having a flexible guest journey that caters for different guests means that they will get a more personally rewarding experience.

Bu identifying things like who is in charge of the table, why the guest is dining with you, what is their state of mind will all help in changing the delivery of service to suit the table

By mapping all the potential interactions and guest touchpoints that a person may have with a brand, you can train your staff to be more effective in their sales efforts whilst delivering a positive emotional outcome of the guests.

By creating guest personas that are well thought and informed you can build empathy with your guests helping staff to understand their mindsets and deliver solutions to their needs

  1. It means the staff can guide the guests towards making good purchases.

A guest unfamiliar with the menu or new in town may require a lot of information than a regular. Our Sales through Service system can be easily implemented once you have the guest on boards. Our system is all about finding out what the guest like and desire and matching products to these to suit this. For a guest to be receptive they need to be in a positive ‘emotional’ place.

  1. It helps identify areas that need more attention.

The guests left too long waiting to be seated. The unfinished drinks. The half plate of food cleared from the table. The negative body language. These are indicators of what we call guests at risk. Bad word of mouth, bad spend per head and negative reviews are about to closely follow.

Get your staff trained to spot these moments in your guest journey and on turning these negatives into a positive. Turn these guests into raving fans by taking corrective action in a timely, effective manner.

By using guest insights from reviews and feedback you can identify the areas that need more attention, you can dedicate more time and resources to the right things and deliver a consumer experience that really works.

  1. It guides business objectives in the right direction.

The journey map creates a framework, urging departments to work together to improve the company’s overall performance and creating a culture where you find the environment is dictating performance. It also helps to break down departmental issues and gets the whole company focused on meeting the expectations and needs of the various guest types.

But to understand how to more meaningfully align your experience to your guest you need to first create a guest journey map.


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