What exactly is ‘Guest Experience’? And why is it important?

‘Guest Experience’ is a term that is tossed around a lot today, especially in a post-covid world. But what exactly is guest experience? And why is it so important?

Is it the moment the customer clicks onto your website to book? Is it the service they receive from their waiter or bartender? Is it the ambiance of the venue? 

The answer is of course.. all of them! 

The guest experience encompasses all of these things. However, it’s easy to get caught up in assuming that the guest experience is just about on-the-day service – but really, it starts from the very moment that the customer lays eyes on your logo or hears your name as a recommendation from a friend. 

In an industry where competition is fierce and there are so many incredible restaurants and bars to visit, it is ultimately the guest experience that makes venues memorable, drives spend per head and encourages reason to return. 

Pint being pulled at the bar

To me, a great guest experience is being able to easily navigate a website, having fun interesting content on their social media and a clear route to booking – a process all of which begins long before a guest enters your venue.

Here at Bums on Seats, I work as a part of the Guest Experience Team and try to embody all of these aspects when booking guests into our client’s venues. We are dedicated to helping create those memorable experiences, and here are some tips that I use to help give guests the best pre-venue experience as possible!

1.      Spending time to get to know all the venues little quirks – We look after some amazing venues which have so much history behind them, I like to really spend time getting to know the venues inside and out so I can offer some interesting facts when guests (especially tourists) are enquiring. I also like to get to know the local area so I can offer recommendations on good attractions nearby. I want the guest to feel like they’re visiting a home away from home.

 2.      Simple but effective – asking the guest are they coming for any special occasion? You’d be surprised how much information you can get out of people from just that little question! And if they are celebrating, why not leave them a little note on the table saying happy anniversary or congratulations on the new job! A simple gesture which they will totally not be expecting, with little cost to the business but has a huge memorable impact on the guest.

 3.      Picking up the phone and getting that feedback post visit – The guest experience certainly does not end once you’ve got the guests money and they are out of your venue. That post-visit experience is more important now than ever. Make the customer see that you value their opinion and want to rectify anything that they might not have been happy with during service. Did you know, it’s 5 times more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an old one? Customer loyalty is the key to business resilience! 

Guest Experience Team

Here at Bums on Seats, everyone on our team comes from an operations background, so we completely understand how busy things can get when running a restaurant or bar, there are so many things to consider and so many plates to keep spinning in the air!

If you want to find out more about how you can streamline your customer journey and improve that overall guest experience, do get in touch with us today and let us take some of the pressure off your hands!

Email: Contact@bumsonseats.org

Mike Emanuel

By Mike Emanuel

Mike's journey into hospitality started when he was just a teenager, working in late night venues in his native Newcastle. Since moving to London in his early 20’s, he’s worked in events and sales for venues all over the west end, most recently running corporate events at the Hoxton. Here at Bums on Seats, Mike works as a part of our Guest Experience Team.