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  • M. Villarreal

5 Ways Your Restaurant Can Create A Positive First Impression

Well Decorated, but Empty Restaurant About to Open

First impressions are crucial, especially in the restaurant industry. This is because, unlike other businesses, there are many steps between the guest arriving at the establishment and receiving their order. The guests must be greeted by an enticing exterior, friendly staff, and a relaxing atmosphere. Even before they know what they want to eat, they must fall in love with your restaurant. I have a friend that has always said, you have to sell the sizzle, before you can sell the steak. So, we wanted to share with you the top five ways your restaurant can create a positive first impression that will allow your guests to enjoy their stay.

1. Cleanliness

One of the most effective ways to create a positive first impression is to keep everything as clean as possible. This includes both the front of the house and the back of the house. The biggest mistake most restaurants make is thinking the consumer area is the only area they need to focus their cleaning efforts. This couldn't be more wrong. If you are not taking care of your kitchen, your customers will know. Whether it is grease on the floor, food contaminants, or simply the smell of the air due to poor vent hood exhaust system cleaning, your customer will experience it all. If you want to succeed in the restaurant industry, you must keep everything clean. Nobody wants to eat in a filthy restaurant. A dirty restaurant can immediately put a damper on a visitor's appetite. Restaurants attract a lot of pests, so you must maintain the highest standard of cleanliness possible in your establishment. However, keeping your restaurant's dining area clean is only one piece of the puzzle. You must also keep your kitchen clean. Thankfully, there are professionals who can help you keep everything in your kitchen clean, so you don't have to spend hours cleaning it.

2. Keep in Mind Your Restaurant's Online Image

In today's interconnected world, where we mostly interact online via social media, the first impression is usually formed long before meeting someone or visiting a location. As a result, you must ensure that your restaurant is well-represented on social media and the internet. You should have a visually appealing, professionally designed website. If you can afford professional photographers to come to your establishment and take photos, you will be well on your way to making a good first impression.

An online image is how your restaurant looks online and how it functions online. It is also important how your staff interacts with potential guests online, over the phone, or in comment sections of your social media posts. When some potential guest calls in, they should be treated with the same hospitality as if they came to your restaurant in person.

3. Think of The Presentation of Your Restaurant

If looking for ways your restaurant can create a positive first impression with potential guests, think about the presentation of your restaurant. Everything from the appearance of your staff to the design of your menu is important. Curb appeal is the part that benefits the most from creativity. You don't have to be fancy, but you need to be interesting. This does not have to break the bank. You don't need to remodel the whole outside of your building. You can create an interesting menu stand that lists the most popular dishes you offer. You can also invest in a logo that you will present in front of your restaurant.

When it comes to your employees, you must emphasize the importance of keeping them clean and in proper attire. Designing a uniform or having a dress code for your staff will ensure you have the most control over how your staff is presented. In addition to that, a menu can also influence the first impression. You should have a menu that includes a range of food options. This includes healthy eating alternatives and solutions for individuals with food allergies. If your restaurant specializes in a specific sort of cuisine, you should have explanations of the food on the menu. People don't want to be confused when choosing the food, so make sure that the menu can assist them in making a pick.

4. Make Sure That Your Service Is On Point

Besides your food, your staff is the other primary communication point with your customers and is often the face of your restaurant. Treating your staff with respect and ensuring an environment where it is obvious they enjoy working in your restaurant will allow them to create an amazing experience for your customers and help them work most effectively. Additionally, creating a physical environment that is conducive to a good working environment is also important. Something as simple as hiring an outside professional deep cleaning company annually to help reset the kitchen to it's cleanest possible state tells your employees you also care about their physical well being.

This is important because customers want courteous, prompt, helpful and genuine service from the moment they walk through the door. It doesn't matter how expensive or cheap the restaurant is.

There should be enough restaurant workers to help customers whenever they are likely to require it. Being understaffed is a recipe for disaster. You should have a front-of-house host, waiting staff, servers, bartenders, and managers ready to help the guest in any way possible. Everyone has a role to play in making the guests feel cared and respected. Additionally, having a host or hostess is crucial in this respect. That is not to say that other staff members are less important. You must convey the notion that everyone on the floor is responsible for greeting visitors as they arrive. Nothing your staff is doing should prevent them from smiling and greeting guests as they go through the restaurant, whether to be seated or to use the toilet.

5. Be As Efficient As Possible

Being able to conduct business without any problems causing you to stop is something that every guest would appreciate. In order to run an efficient kitchen, you need to have space, but you also need to have spare equipment, whether that is pots, pans, glassware, cutlery, or plates. A level of redundancy will allow you to work without the fear that a setback will stop all the work. To achieve this, it would be a good idea to have a place offsite where you can store the extra stuff. A storage unit in Texas would be a great way to do this. But be careful - you need to look for some key qualities of a good storage facility to avoid making a mistake and ruining your items. Hence, you should look for these traits if you are considering renting a storage unit:

  • Climate control

  • Insurance

  • 24h surveillance

You can rest easy if you find the right place for the extra kitchenware and cutlery. You will be able to run your kitchen at full speed, knowing that you have room for error and mistakes that will not cause your business to suffer.


Having guests return to your restaurant, and share the experience to refer others, are the biggest compliments they can give you, but it is also the hardest thing to do because THEIR reputation is on the line when they do. Hopefully, this list ways your restaurant can create a positive first impression will help bring in more customers and keep them coming back. If you decide you would like some help with your vent hood cleaning or deep kitchen cleaning, give us a call for a free onsite estimate.

Cornerstone Commercial Services 1-800-274-3905

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