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Elevated Experiences

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The future of service is being driven by consumers who want to get in and out quickly but still have a warm, welcoming, and upscale experience.  

Compete with Service

Service is the key differentiator of the moment, and competing with hospitality is more important now than ever. Amidst steady inflation concerns and auto-gratuity, the expectation for that welcoming smile and warmth is at an all-time high.

Make it a daily practice.

Service should be interwoven with every aspect of your operation. Talking about it every day with staffespecially customer-facing staffkeeps it at the forefront and an active part of the brand regardless of the restaurant style,” says Jim Hargrove, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant 

Educate on “soft skills.”

Don’t assume your front-of-house staff knows how to make an instant connection that welcomes guests in, builds trust and brand love. “Teach, train and practice eye contact, communication and positive body language,” says Hargrove. Follow up promptly on teachable moments from reviews. 

Combine tech with the human touch.

Full-service restaurants are increasingly moving away from the traditional method of server, busser and food runner and embracing a hybrid. “If everyone is a server, you can rely on QR code ordering at the table and still provide customer service and hospitality,” says Hargrove.

The New Tasting Menu

Balance curation with creativity by giving people fresh ways to find their new favorites among your specialties.

Embrace family style.

Think in terms of bigger items intended for two or more. “Try a tableside bone-in ribeye or large carver-style meat that comes with shareable sides,” says Sarah Richardson, Shamrock Foods Brands Chef, Arizona. Add a rotating selection of sides, like grilled corn with cotija or seasonal roasted veggies. 

Small bites and boards.

Customers are looking for a social sharing experience. “Try 2-3 bite plates that let them order multiple tastes for their meal,” says Jonathon Merrick, Shamrock Foods Chef and Produce Specialist, Idaho. Add interesting boards to your menu with seafood sampler options, dessert arrays or even seasonally themed charcuteries, cheeses and jams.  

Add a touch of upscale.

Shamrock Foods Artisanal Provisions provides unique high-end items to support a new tasting menu experience. And explore Markon First Crop® and Ready-Set-Serve by Markon®. “These offer a great variety of vegetables and make designing the new tasting menu easier than ever,” says Chef Thomas Vigil, Shamrock Foods Branch Chef, Colorado.

Creating More Craveabilty

Here are some other ways to keep them wanting more. 

Let guests choose their own adventure.

Offer multiple options per course that are built in a quicker-dining format. “Have them choose three: appetizer, entrée, dessert, says Vigil. 

Honey, turn up the heat.

Calabrian peppers are extremely popular as a smoky-spicy condiment. “Hot honey is also very trendy. Try it on cottage cheese toasts, any kind of pizza or Riverhill Poultry® chicken tenders,” says Richardson.

Sweeten the deal.

Get guest buy-in on a sweet finish as they’re considering their meal. “Suggest a dessert with a special section on the main menu to promote sales and a higher check average,” says Richardson.

Get colorful with matcha-infused brownies or donuts featuring inventive toppings like cereal or edible flowers.  Have fun with mini-bites – miniature versions of desserts are some of the most Instagram- and TikTok-worthy ways to draw attention.  With a fresh focus on service and upscale touches, you’ll boost sales and offer an unparalleled guest experience.

Lean into service, sampling and craveabilty.  Our team of restaurant industry experts is ready to help your business. Click here to get started!

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