How to Use Guest Experience to Create Loyal Guest Relationships in Food Service

If you’re in the food service industry, then you’re no stranger to the guest experience. In fact, the customer experience (CX) and food service industries have evolved together overtime.

What do I mean by this? Well, the food service industry was one of the first to embrace the idea of customer experience. Some experts even believe that restaurants’ need to gather guest feedback to improve their operations pushed the customer experience (CX) industry to where it is today.

Now, CX solutions are more advanced than ever; the leading vendors can offer their clients actionable intelligence that actually impacts their bottom line. As customer experience has evolved, so has the food service industry. Brands today are facing even more complex challenges like:

  • How do I attract the new wave of Millennials and Gen Z’ers to choose my restaurant over others?
  • What new items should I incorporate into my menu?
  • How do I protect my brand when using a third-party delivery service like UberEats or DoorDash?
  • How do I improve efficiency to manage rising labor costs?

To rise to the challenge, food service brands need to evolve their approach to guest experience from operational, to experiential, to relational. Here’s the difference between these three approaches:

The Operational Approach

The operational approach to guest experience is pretty straightforward. It means that your guest experience program is largely focused on answering questions about staffing, stock, and cleanliness. This is how food service brands have historically utilized guest experience.

The Experiential Approach

The experiential approach takes it a step further by focusing on consistent experiences for guests and then understanding why guests have the experience they do. This approach answers questions about how to turn negative experiences into positive ones and incorporating employee feedback to improve the guest experience.

The Relational Approach

The relational approach is the holy grail for guest experience: it focuses all program efforts on creating loyal guest relationships. Creating this level of loyalty requires creating high quality, consistent experiences not just in-location, but at every touchpoint guests have with your brand (online, customer experience, in app, etc.)

By evolving your approach to guest experience, you can utilize your program to create what every brand dreams of: loyal guest relationships. And because loyal customers will spend more, more frequently, your guest experience program can positively impact your bottom line more than ever before!

To read more about the specific CX solutions you can master to move from operational, to experiential, to loyal guest relationships, read the full “Three Steps to Future Proofing the Guest Experience in Food Service” eBook here!

About Author

Bill Gammell Director, Customer Success

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