Why Your Restaurant isn’t Just About Food

We recently read a new survey regarding restaurant customer service from Empathica.  It reminded us of a story about a girl who used to love going to restaurants, but was always annoyed when her mother wouldn’t let her have tuna fish.

The story was published in the New York Times a number of years ago. It discussed issues of child rearing. The girl in the story loved eating tuna fish in the restaurant, but her mother always refused to allow her to buy it because she would say “you can have tuna fish at home.”

“It Just Tastes Better at the Restaurant”

The woman who wrote the story mentioned that yes, she could have tuna fish at home. However, it wasn’t creamy and loaded down with mayonnaise like it was at the restaurant. Instead, it was dry and “good for you” at home.

The story was brought to up to illustrate the point that when you have kids out at a restaurant, you should allow them to indulge and not be so strict. The story equally points up another issue which is more important for American restaurateurs: It’s all about the experience.

It’s Not Just About The Food!

Even if all you run is a small hot dog stand in the middle of New York City, the experience of getting a hot dog at a New York City hot dog stand instead of cooking one at home is why people are willing to spend the money to buy from you. All the more so when you run a full service restaurant – it’s all about the experience and that’s the main reason people go out to eat.

Of course there are other factors that enter the picture, such as time constraints or lack of any desire to cook. But the primary issue for any restaurateur should be to make sure that their customers have an amazing experience at their restaurants.

Customer Satisfaction can Kill or Carry Your Business

However, a recent survey shows that 52% of Americans are unhappy with the customer service they are getting when they go out to eat. When we see numbers like this, it should scare the heck out of us.  Why? Because it means that the limited discretionary spending money people have is likely going into DVDs, internet entertainment, and frozen pizzas instead of into restaurants.

No one is immune. Horrible—or even moderately bad—customer service can effectively take four stars off of any five-star rating. So, do your utmost to make sure your guests are happy and having a good time. It’s not just a feel good moment. It’s a solid business decision as well.

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