Learn how to optimize internal and external guest experiences with the former Sr. Director of Guest Experience at Zaxby’s.

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The Off-Premise Restaurant

by Restaurant Experts

Michael Brown has over 30 years experience in the restaurant industry and is a master in guest experience. Having owned Chick-Fil-A locations for about 14 years then working alongside Flying Biscuit and Bojangles, Michael knows his fried chicken. With his most recent role as former Sr. director of guest experience at Zaxby’s, Michael brings his expertise in internal and external guest experience executions to this weeks episode of Give An Ovation!

Here are a few highlights from this episode:

What is the most important aspect of the guest experience?


“For example, imagine you give a customer an incorrect order. It is crucial to go above and beyond and say, ‘I’m so sorry that we gave you the small fry, I want you to keep that small fry and I’m going to give you a large. Also, I’m going to give you a be-our-guest card, just as an invitation for you to come back and give us another try.”

What are some successful tactics you’ve seen or tried lately?

“There a lot of new and shiny products out there and it just looks wonderful. But people will spend a lot of money on a guest experience platform when they’re not even answering their Google reviews. What I tell people is, if there’s 10 steps to marketing, the first one is: answer your Google reviews. This step is crucial because that’s what controls the algorithm for any unbranded search.”

Who deserves an ovation in the industry?

“Within the industry, I would have to say Chick-Fil-A, because they are the brand standard and they’re doing some some incredible things. Outside of the restaurant industry and solely focusing on hospitality business, I would say the Ritz Carlton. They had CRMs before CRM was even a word. Every time you went there they had a conversation with you, and if you asked for extra scratchy sheets in your bed, I guarantee you that the next time you go you’re gonna have those, because they pay attention and map the guest journey.

For more, connect with Michael on LinkedIn!

Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole episode, as well as other interviews with restaurant gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation: A Podcast For Restaurants” on ovationup.com/podcast or your favorite place to listen to podcasts.

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