Obtaining Useful Customer Feedback in Your Restaurant

Customer satisfaction means everything to a restaurant business. Fortunately, the easiest way to ensure that your customers are satisfied is to quite simply ask them for their feedback. Most people are happy to share their opinions—especially if they know that you will actually take action on the feedback they provide.

Asking people what you can do better before there is a reason to complain demonstrates your commitment to integrity and excellence. It makes your customers feel valued and underscores that you are committed to creating an enjoyable experience for them. Plus, you might be surprised at some of the good ideas your customers will offer! Here are the three main areas in which you can obtain useful customer feedback for your restaurant business.

Getting Feedback for Your Restaurant In-House

There’s no better time to ask for feedback on your customer’s experience with your restaurant than when they are right there on the premises and the experience is fresh in their minds. Ensure that you have feedback forms readily available, and train your servers to politely ask customers to fill them out to significantly increase your number of responses. Whether you use an old-school pen and paper, or include a digital feedback form in your point-of-sale system, don’t miss the opportunity to get fresh, in-the-moment feedback on how well you’re doing (or anything else you’re curious about, for that matter) right there, in-house.

Getting Feedback for Your Restaurant Through Online Mediums

The digital world offers another rich arena for you to gather feedback from your consumer base. Make sure that your restaurant’s website has a comment form and direct people’s attention to it by putting it on their receipts and sending your social media followers to it. You can also send your mailing list a survey via email. Ensure that the survey is easy to use and express how the feedback will be used to improve the restaurant. If you have an example of how you have taken positive action based on a customer comment, post it for everyone to see. People are more likely to take action if they know that you are really listening.

Useful Feedback Is Already Available in Your Restaurant’s Data

Whether or not you’re actively asking for it, your customers are always giving you useful feedback; you’ll find it in the numbers when you analyze your restaurant’s data. By doing this, you’ll be able to see not only which items you are selling the most (and least), but will also be able to discover trends in the sale of your products that you can take advantage of. Keeping a regular eye on these numbers is particularly easy if you’re running a digital or online ordering system.

The type of feedback you ask for is up to you. You should certainly try to gauge your customer’s satisfaction, but you can also gather feedback on anything else you might be curious about, such as that new menu item or latest change in décor. Some restaurants offer some form of incentive to customers in exchange for providing feedback, and if you’re comfortable giving something away, it will most likely increase your number of responses. That said, you also need to be careful not to undermine your brand’s reputation. Making customers feel that their feedback can really lead to change in the restaurant can be incentive enough in and of itself. However you do it, make sure you are doing it. Gathering customer feedback provides you with invaluable information that can help you run a better and more successful restaurant business.

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3 Responses to “Obtaining Useful Customer Feedback in Your Restaurant”

  1. lyndaybaker Says:

    Being able to discern problems quickly gives you the ability to influence if not prevent negative publicity. Customers who have a problem that is corrected to their satisfaction are often more loyal than those who never had a problem.

  2. Contract Furniture Company Says:

    Reblogged this on Contract Furniture Digest and commented:
    Had to share this valuable advice: “Asking people what you can do better before there is a reason to complain demonstrates your commitment to integrity and excellence.”
    Read Jim Balis’ article for more insights and advice.

  3. Contract Furniture Company Says:

    Jim,
    Thank you for the insightful blog post! I had to re-blog this one, it was too good to pass up.

    Keep up the terrific writing,

    ~ Autumn Garavito-Chaney
    autumn@contractfurniture.com

    [10th Anniversary Logo Final.JPG]

    Contract Furniture Company
    Professional Grade Furniture
    2325 Palos Verdes Drive West, Suite 307
    Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
    Ph 310.544.2382 Fax 310.544.2387
    http://www.ContractFurniture.com

    [pinterest-3-32] [instagram-32] [twitter-3-32] [instagram-32] [twitter-3-32]

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