How Employee Recognition Impacts Customer Experience

 In Bar & Restaurant Operations, Customer Service

There is a very good reason you never hear about an Oscar acceptance speech consisting of “I don’t need to thank anybody. This was all me, y’all. “ In just about every situation it’s the ‘little people’ who determine success or failure. Nobody does it alone.

In the bar and restaurant industry that means your front-line employees. And the way to get the most out of those positions is to facilitate their feeling a sense of emotional connection to ownership, management and the overall goals of your business. One of the ways to ensure this happens is recognition.

By engaging associates and encouraging them to be passionate about their work, you are establishing a system of ownership. They feel as if they have a larger stake in your business’ success and will strive to perform their best. By cultivating a culture in which your associates feel appreciated, you promote a positive atmosphere not only for employees, but customers as well. Engaged employees are critical in the customer experience and as you are well aware, satisfied customers have the potential of becoming loyal customers.

So, how can you reinforce company culture and drive results? There are simple, yet effective ways to recognize your employees and boost morale.

Reinforce good behavior by rewarding employees. “The Forum: Business Results Through People” found a direct relationship between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction and loyalty. By motivating and rewarding achievement, you provide incentive for employees to go above and beyond. This not only fosters improvement in communication between employees and management, but also between employees and customers.  Recognition can be formal or informal, whether it be a simple pat on the back or a tangible reward like a gift card to their favorite store (this shows you know your employees on a more personal level).

Another strategy to recognize employees would be the implementation of an “Employee of the Month” system. Texas Roadhouse provides an exemplary example of how rewarding and inspiring employees is a promising way to create relationships between employees and customers.

Each month, based on performance evaluation or another type of evaluation, you could have your bartender create a beverage named after him or herself that will be promoted at a discounted price, in their honor.  If it is a server, a menu item of the day could be devoted to the particular server. This provides an opportunity for your employee to feel special, while encouraging an increase in drinks or food purchased.  In addition, small pins or stickers that convey this accomplishment can be affixed to the employees name badge.  This reinforces behavior after the event, provides incentive for other employees, and showcases the employee’s talent and dedication to customers.

All and all, employee recognition will generate an atmosphere in which your customers can enjoy. If your employees exude a positive attitude, your customers will take notice and will enjoy their experience as well. Loyal customers generate consistent revenue for your business. This is a fact that you cannot afford to ignore. If your employees are happy, they will make it a priority to ensure the same fate for their customers.

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