Food franchises make up a major platform in the franchising world. Some people might look down on multinational chains, but in the end of the day, a waiter at Denny's or Bennigan's has to perform the exact same job as waiters in the fanciest restaurants in Paris or London: they have to get the customer's attention and properly serve them their food.
There is a great story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that examines the science of waitering. It takes a broad, democratic look at the industry of waitering and is a great introduction to the science of the profession for any franchisee. In such competitive marketplace, research proves the waiter experience will prove decisive when consumers have to decide whether they'll revisit a restaurant.
"Even chain restaurants like Denny's, T.G.I. Friday's, and Romano's Macaroni Grill are focusing more on personalized service by training staff to note body language, eye contact and offhand remarks, hoping to make service feel less mechanical. Traditionally, eateries taught waiters to follow a script and push add-ons like desserts and drinks," the WSJ reports yesterday.
It's clear that restaurant franchises are getting savvier in the way they deal with eaters. As the story outlines, the waiters are asked to deduce if eaters are in a rush or assume from information like the presence of a laptop that customers want a brisk, undisturbed experience. On the other hand, if the customer seems like they're going to stay for awhile, waiters are expected to put in a greater effort to win their affection.
The story goes on to say that some food franchises are training waiting staff for over seven days. If you're trying to get customers back into your food franchise, start with your wait staff.