The UX of Restaurants: Designing the Experience for Whom?

I recently watched this talk by Mark Canlis, of notable Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, WA. I highly recommend that you do as well. Shortly after publicly posting my homage, to my delight, I was personally introduced to Mark Canlis. Clearly this was a huge honor and since I really took his talk to heart, and I ended up saying the following: 

Mapping Your Customer Journey

Hi Mark,

So lovely to meet you! I really enjoyed listening to your talk at The Roots conference. I've been very interested in, and working on, how to sustain growth and innovation in the food & beverage industry post-product or restaurant launch (once the PR has ceased), and, after many years, how to maintain a unique value and voice for your brand to bring in new customers and to keep repeat customers engaged.

Your talk really hit home the point of how important passion, and compassion, should be communicated from the top down. And by demonstrating empathy, you create trust and empowerment amongst your staff. From a marketing perspective, it behooves restaurants to create this cohesive community. Not only does it foster a consistent and enjoyable experience for your staff, but that passion then translates to the sales floor — as your staff is the last touch point of your brand with the customer.

In tech, there are user experience designers. They map out the end-to-end customer journey, making sure the user feels at ease and is having an enjoyable experience the whole time they are interacting with the product. The same should happen in the food industry. Food is emotional, personal, and every touchpoint matters. That VIP feeling shouldn't just originate in the front of house, when the customer walks in the door. That enthusiasm should be fostered well before. 

Thank you for the inspiration, and, again, really great to meet you. Kim Bryden