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Restaurant Investigations & Solutions


Posted on Sun 25 Sep 2011     No of views: 2508      No of Comments: 0            

Dig the well before you are thirsty

All restaurants will inevitably have to deal with customer complaints. No matter how hard you try to please your customers, something will go wrong that is beyond your control. For example, customers might get angry if they have to wait too long in line or if a server forgot their order during the middle of a dinner rush. These are things that restaurants cannot control. Innocent mistakes happen. Some customers are hard to please and will complain if they are not 100% satisfied. Unfortunately, restaurants have to deal with these complaints whether it is their fault or not.

Here are some tips to handle customer complaints:

Listen and Acknowledge

Customers who complain usually just want to be heard. When people are upset, they want to voice their opinions and their anger. The best thing a restaurant owner can do is to listen to them and to acknowledge the problem. Even if you cannot fix the problem, just letting the customer know that you recognize the problem can alleviate the situation.

For example, if a customer is upset because the line is too long, you can say “I understand your frustration. Our restaurant is unusually busy today, and I apologize that you have to wait longer than expected.” Obviously you cannot let certain customers skip a line because they are upset, but letting them know that you understand their frustration can ease their tension. It is also helpful to let the customer know that the problem is not common for your restaurant. By saying “We are unusually busy today” assures your customers that this problem will not likely happen again. If you don’t allow your angry customers to vent their frustration at you, they will just bring their frustration somewhere else by complaining about your restaurant to everyone they know. This alternative can create more serious problems for your restaurant.

Offer a Free Gift

If your customer was angry because they received a burnt Dosa or spilled drink, you can compensate by offering a free gift. For example, you can give them a free dessert or a discount on their meal. These items don’t cost you a lot of money and can quickly satisfy an unhappy customer.

Be Courteous

Occasionally you might deal with a truly angry customer who tells you that they will never come back to your restaurant. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to change their mind at this point. The best thing to do is to send them off courteously and politely, and let them know that if they change their mind, they can always come back to your restaurant.

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Restaurant Investigations & Solutions