Managers should be total sponges of what is going on in their restaurant. One method is to make daily perimeter checks that begin with walking outside. This enables you to have a guest’s perspective of the total experience. Your diners begin forming impressions the minute they drive into your parking lot.
Look for things such as trash or debris in and around the parking lot and building. Inspect the appearance of the building. Are lights functioning? What about the signage? What does the landscaping look like? Are there any unpleasant odors?
Sound, appearance and aroma significantly influence guest impressions, and all three will be experienced from the car to your front door.
Is the music too loud? Are the lights too bright? Is the aroma from the kitchen the guest first smells or that of untreated floor drains? Observe the staff. Do they look cheerful and attentive, or bored and disinterested? Are they well groomed and in clean uniforms? Do their actions appear orderly and professional or does it seem that everyone is “in the weeds?”
Walk through the bathrooms, insuring their cleanliness.
Make sure dining area is free of garbage, crums, and unnecessary waste.
Repeat this exercise every day. It benefits both your guests and you.