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Guide 101: What Makes a Great Restaurant Experience

The importance of customer service is often overlooked for restaurant success. However, good customer service can significantly impact the overall restaurant experience.

It turns out that there are some things all customers want in a restaurant. These include delicious food, attentive staff, and the ambiance of an enjoyable experience.

Find out what makes for a great customer experience because, in the end, that’s going to generate more positive reviews and drive up revenue. We’ll also describe a good restaurant.


What makes a great restaurant experience? 

Restaurants are all about the dining experience, and what that means is different for every restaurant. Click To Tweet

Still, there are some critical components to a great customer experience.

  • Friendly, personalized service
  • Consistently great food
  • A memorable atmosphere
  • Efficient customer service

Create a standout restaurant experience.

Lightspeed is a restaurant management software that can take care of everything for you, from inventory to payroll.

restaurant experience


1. Friendly, personalized service

When it comes to service, the guest wants a warm welcome and does not feel like they are just another number on your payroll.

How to describe a good restaurant? When you go to a restaurant, the first person, your guests will interact with is either their host or server. They want someone who can make them feel welcomed and provide excellent service.

How can you be sure that your sales team is driven by more than just money? The answer starts with the hiring process.

It’s not very long for people to decide if they like you. It turns out that it only takes five seconds.

Carrie Luxem, CEO of Restaurant HR Group, suggests that the best employees can work quickly and under pressure with a smile. They should also be able to multitask well.

To simulate the pressure of a busy Friday night service, Luxem designed a timed assembly test.

Candidates should be able to interact with guests while at the same time being on top of their work. If they are too focused, they will not have enough grace or social skills.

Tips for friendly, personalized service

There are two things your server and host can do to increase their likability. The first is to be friendly, which comes down a lot of the time on personality and partially because it’s easier for people who smile more often.

Address guests by their name

The simple act of using a customer’s first name makes the restaurant experience more personal and friendly. Scientific evidence also shows that they feel special when people hear their names.

A study found that hearing your name triggers brain activity in the cortex’s social, auditory, and visual areas.

Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, says that remembering someone’s name is one way to make people like you. Click To Tweet

When they do, they are more likely to listen when you have a suggestion (like suggesting the perfect wine with their dish).

One of the most important things you can remember is their names for a more personalized restaurant experience. This is an excellent opportunity to understand what type of food they like and if it matches their preferences. It can also increase cross-selling and upselling items revenue. Of course, the quality will play into how much people enjoy their meal.

Lightspeed can help servers identify what their guests like by profiling them.

Just because someone is new to your restaurant doesn’t mean they are unfamiliar with the service you provide.

Ask them if they are new to the restaurant. If so, you can take this opportunity to educate your customers on what is available and create a profile for their next visit.

If a customer has ordered from you before, your server will have the opportunity to look up their profile and see what items they usually order. This is how.

  • From the Customers tab in Lightspeed, select Tables.
  • When you want to search for a customer, type their name in the Search Bar.
  • Click on the customer’s profile to see their name, address, and what products they have purchased.
  • You can see the customer’s favorite product under General Info

The Favorite bar is an excellent way to find out what dishes they most often buy.

This information helps users recommend the proper menu items and beverages because they can tell which are most likely to be ordered or the desired type of service.


2. Consistently great food

The food you serve is the essential check part of your restaurant. It sets the tone for guests and how they perceive their restaurant experience.

When guests lack communication with the waiter or waitress who takes their order, they may not know what to expect when it comes time for food preparation. Food quality can suffer as a result.

restaurant experience

Before your cooks serve dishes, they should evaluate them to see if the flavor profile is what they want.

When you hire food runners, make sure they check every dish for presentation and plating to ensure that it meets your standards.

Encourage your staff to focus on the quality of food and presentation. All menu items contribute to how guests perceive an establishment, so they should all be up-to-par.

Presentation matters 

A recent study found that the way your dish looks affects how people perceive its taste.

The study by Oxford professor Charles Spence found that food presentation can have signified significantly. 

Presentation can significantly affect customers’ experience. In it, 60 people were given three salads with identical ingredients but differing in appearance, and they all reported liking them more when they looked appealing.

The first was a sloppy, haphazardly put-together collage. The second had been meticulously arranged, and the third had some artistic flair with its resemblance to Wassily Kandinsky’s paintings.

The study participants thought that the salad with more fresh vegetables tasted better. The salad was made to look like the painting.

In a recent study, participants said that the dish they were served tasted 29% better even though it had no different ingredients. This sThisly-plated dish was worth up to three times more than one with less care put into its presentation.

One of the essential parts is presentation. The study found that if you focus on it, your guests will enjoy their meal more and may even be willing to pay higher prices for items without being scared away.


3. A memorable atmosphere

The way your restaurant looks is an extension of its brand and a powerful tool to generate interest in the establishment. everything should be cohesive with one another from furniture choices, lighting, or color scheme

Adhere to a concept

The idea behind it shapes the atmosphere of a restaurant. For example, suppose you want to create an upscale environment with great food and service. In that case, the concept should be considered in every decision that shapes what type of restaurant experience customers will have.

Sometimes, the concept doesn’t need a specific atmosphere to make it a hectic modern steakhouse is an example of this- customers don’t have any preconceived notions about how these establishments are supposed to look and feel. This gives chefs more freedom in creating their restaurant atmospheres without having expectations constrain them

their decor and furnishings consistent

The best way to create a restaurant that will leave diners with lasting memories is by designing the decor inflows and ties together. A cohesive design can be made through wall decorations, paint colors, furniture, or decorative accents.

Soften the lighting

Fast food and fast-casual restaurants may use fluorescent lighting, but sit-down locations should be more inviting with warm light.

In general, harsh lighting is unsuitable for restaurants because it makes the atmosphere less welcoming.

Choose music thoughtfully

Music should make your guests feel welcomed and relaxed. For example, while loud or hard-charging music is fine for fast food restaurants, it’s not the best choice for upscale dining establishments.

Music played at too high a volume can be an issue. If it is, people are more likely to talk over the music, which increases noise levels and generally does create the best atmosphere for dining.

Design with Instagram in mind

The 60% of Instagram users who use the platform to find out about products and places can be attracted by showing off their dishes on a plate or trendy decor.

restaurant experience

Tommy Cafe’s Instagram account is full of beautiful photos that showcase the restaurant’s decor and food.

When people discover your restaurant through Instagram, the right decor encourages them to make a reservation and document their restaurant experience. This is what we call user-generated content (UGC), one of the most effective types of marketing.

When it comes to marketing your restaurant, posting user-generated content on Instagram can increase engagement by 28%. This is because they are perceived as more authentic than other posts.

Part of the genuine reviews from the restaurant is created by people who work at a given establishment. Customers can provide an honest review of what they saw and experienced when dining there.

The restaurant should also incorporate user-generated content on social media to make it more popular.


4. Efficient customer service

The hospitality industry is competitive, and restaurants are likely to fail within the first year. One study found that 60% of all restaurant ventures will not make it past their first year, with 80% dying by the end of their second.

While many factors contribute essential this staggering statistic, it is necessary to note that serving guests well does not just benefit the guest. Efficient service creates an enjoyable restaurant experience for both customers and servers.

Customers want to feel like they have a clear way of completing the task, whether ordering their meal or splitting a check.


Your customers mustn’t be inconvenienced when they arrive. You want to make sure there is never a long line outside the restaurant.

If you have not already invested in a mobile point of sale system, it is worth looking into. Mobile POS systems can help your restaurant efficiently handle all the tasks that anything, not services.


If taking and preparing orders has been a problem in the past, it may be time to invest in tableside ordering or self-order menus. These systems can help reduce errors and speed up order turnaround times.

If you don’t have the modifications, it can be a customer experience killer. If they ask for anything not on your menu and there are no substitutions available, this could be an opportunity lost.


The final touchpoint that you should review is how your customers pay.

It is essential to know how servers can tell when a table has finished eating. If they need to ask, their ys could streamline the way payments work.

The new Lightspeed system has a color-coded floor plan that tells servers what stage of the meal they are waiting for, have an order going or a, re just sitting there.

With this information, servers can process payments more efficiently and improve the customer restaurant experience. This will also help with increasing table turnover.

Splitting the bill

Have you ever been to a restaurant with your friends and wanted to split the bill, but it wasn’t possible?

This will leave a bad taste in your guests’ mouths if they have to pay for the entire bill themselves. You want them going as satisfied customers, not annoyed ones.

WhenRegardingtaurant bill splitting, ensure that your point of sale system can support this, so the process is as seamless for customers as possible.


restaurant experience

How do you create great restaurant experiences? 

Four factors determine the difference between a good restaurant experience and an unforgettable one.

  • Friendly, personalized service
  • Consistently great food 
  • A memorable atmosphere
  • Efficient customer service 

In order to make sure that your business is successful, you need positive customer reviews. Click To Tweet

You also want the business to be known by many people on social media.