A Guide to Handling Customer Complaints at Your Restaurant

Excellent customer service is crucial in the hospitality industry. A restaurant’s top objectives may be the quality of the food and the ambience, but disregarding the needs of the consumer may hurt sales. Even more so in the social media age, a few unfavourable online reviews might possibly harm your restaurant’s reputation for a very long time. In order to address this problem, in this article, we offer you a thorough overview of how to respond to customer complaints and provide them with outstanding service so that they are satisfied and left wanting more.

Typical Restaurant Customer Complaints:

While an attentive employee should be able to address the majority of complaints, occasionally, a lack of responsiveness may result in dissatisfied customers. Here are a few scenarios when consumer inquiries could get your staff into a blunder and lead to disgruntled customers:

  • Employees That Are Unable to Answer Inquiries

    It is crucial that your restaurant’s staff members be able to respond to inquiries about, for example, the ingredients in a signature dish on the menu. Hence, ensure that your staff members are aware of all the items, their ingredients, allergens, and nutritional value, as well as the services they offer as well as where to turn for assistance should they need it.

  • Rude Staff

    Your staff members may not always be deliberately impolite, but short speech patterns and abrasive tones of voice can give the impression to the consumer that they are. Make sure your staff has received the right training in friendly communication techniques so that they can speak to customers efficiently and clearly while also actively listening to their needs.

  • Incorrect or Insufficient Contact Information

    You risk losing business if your customers can’t get in touch with you. However, human errors may occur from time to time. Make sure your team gives out the right contact information effectively. Another solution would be to maintain your website and social media pages updated with your address, email addresses, and phone numbers, as well as your current business hours.

The Five-Step Guide to Resolving Grievances:

  1. Listen: Making a consumer feel heard is the first step in helping them feel satisfied and begin to relax a little. The key here is to truly listen to their concerns with great attentiveness with no interruption.
  2. Respond: The right method to reply to a customer is to empathize with them while being composed and welcoming and apologizing on behalf of the restaurant for the lack of service they required. They’ll probably feel a bit more at ease at this point.
  3. Offer Solutions: Give your staff the authority to provide a free meal replacement, a complimentary dessert, or a discount upon the next visit as a workable alternative to help appease the dissatisfied customers. To avoid making promises they can’t keep, it’s crucial to ensure your staff members are aware of their limitations.
  4. Go the Extra Mile: To keep disgruntled customers from putting in a negative review, go above and above what you have committed to providing, however, within bounds. For instance, after offering a free dessert as a solution, to having to surprise them and exceed their expectations, the restaurant staff threw in an extra gift card for a discount on a future visit.
  5. Learn: The idea is to study the strategies you’ve previously employed with customers so you may apply them as solutions to lessen future issues. It could be a good idea to ask the customers how the restaurant might enhance their overall experience.

Further Considerations:

  • List the Rates of Every Dish on the Menu.
  • Clarify the Expectations for Gratuities.
  • Highlight Potential Allergens and Dietary Issues.
  • Provide Nutritional Information.
  • Describe the Guidelines for Serving Alcohol.

The Bottom Line

Free lunch or a complimentary dessert might not always resolve the issue, especially in some difficult situations. This is where restaurant insurance comes into play. If you were to be sued for damages in these situations, restaurant insurance might protect you from potential lawsuits and settlements.

Contact RMS Insurance Brokerage, LLC today to learn more about customized restaurant insurance coverage plans that help protect your restaurant business.