Continued Service Model of Restaurant Service
Saddleback BBQ has two locations, both utilize a continued service style of dining. This is a growing trend in the restaurant industry and we expect it to continue to expand.
When customers walk in the door they are greeted and handed menus. Quickly after they are given the option to either find their table or to place their order at the front desk. This allows customers to dine on their own schedule. If you are in a rush, or very familiar with the menu, there may be no reason to go to your table before placing your order. If you want time to talk with your friends and family, you’re more than welcome to do so, and we encourage it.
After placing your order up front, we’ll get your fountain drink or a ticket will be sent to the bartender to prepare your adult beverages. You’ll be given a number to put on your table to identify you. Any Saddleback employee can assist you in any way you see fit. You are not chained to one waiter or waitress. All of our employees are fit to serve you.
We see this as a major improvement to traditional restaurant service. You can add on alcoholic drinks, or any other items you may want without leaving your seat. The essential differences between continued service and normal dine-in service is your initial order is made up front and any employee can help you any step of the way.
We made the decision to go with continued service for several reasons:
Technology - we use Toast Go tablets to take our orders. This gives our front of house employees the ability to take an order for any customer in the restaurant from anywhere. The reason continued service was not popularized in the past is due in large part to the fact that the available technology would not have allowed it. Thankfully technology has come a long way and we attempt to utilize it.
Continuity - Saddleback in REO town was our first location, opening more than three years ago. We’ve now expanded to two locations. One mistake we made when opening our second location in Okemos was that we did not keep everything consistent between the two restaurants. In the beginning, Okemos had a traditional waiter and waitress service. We later made the decision that it’s important to keep continuity between our two locations, especially if we plan on expanding in the future.
Although the switch to continued service has led to a very small amount of negative feedback, which we greatly appreciate and listen to. Our most recent Net Promoter Score (a metric used to determine how likely your customer base is to refer a friend) was 79, on a scale from -100 to 100. For reference McDonald’s has a -8 and Apple has a 72. (Learn how to measure Net Promoter Score at your Restaurant.)
We are continuing to improve and grow into this new service style, and looking for ways to make this a smoother experience for everyone involved. We are in the business of giving the customer the best dining and service possible. Thank you so much!