A one week project focused on improving the restaurant experience and customer relations.
The prompt for this project was to create a way for diners to submit positive comments and constructive suggestions for wait staff, and allow servers to use this feedback to both improve and help to secure new employment.
After reading the prompt, I thought about what customers would currently rate the service based on, what waiters would really need feedback on (or do they already know what they should / shouldn’t do and it’s just a matter of motivation), and what would help make the customers’ experiences better so that their positivity is reflected in the reviews of the wait staff. I didn't want to create a stand-alone app, but to have the ratings be seamlessly integrated into a system that would fit into an improved restaurant experience.
ONLINE RESEARCH, SURVEYS, & INTERVIEWS
To gain a better understanding of the problem space, I did some online research about general problems associated with waitressing. I then used this research to craft survey questions that I sent out to customers and wait staff. I also interviewed 5 waiters and 1 manager to get a more personal understanding of their needs.
A few key insights:
- 63% of waiters said customers complain a lot about the food wait times, but that it’s out of their control
- 4/5 waiters mentioned that they wish more customers would say when their food is improperly cooked
- Waiters really enjoy when customers come in and know them by name or when they’re super friendly It makes talking to them not feel like work.
- Customers complain mostly about their order being wrong or when the waiter has a negative perceived “attitude”
- Customers have a bad experience if the food they get is not what they expected
Since these problems occur during different stages of the meal service, I decided to map out the whole customer journey to identify where and how interventions can be made.
Existing User Journey
Solution Journey Map
My final solution solves the key findings from my research. It builds customer / host(waiter) relationships via repeat service, increased understanding, reduced impolite waiter-calling, and reduced errors. It improves the restaurant experience for the customer via reduced wait times, meal service transparency, meeting food expectations, and easy bill splitting and paying. Customers can easily rate and give suggestions to hosts at the end of their meal, which syncs to the host's online profile, boosting morale and helping them secure new employment.
After making a solution journey map, I made a user flow to sort out the details of how all the digital parts would work together. I thought through how each type of user would go through the onboarding process, and how the in-restaurant system would look at each user interaction throughout the meal.
Select Hi Fi Screens