How to Address Restaurant Customer Service Complaints

How you handle customer complaints determines whether or not they return to your restaurant. Up to 95% of customers are guaranteed to come back to your restaurant if you respond to their service complaints appropriately and in a timely manner. It shows them that you have good business sense and judgment. The following are ways you can make your customer’s experience of your restaurant worthwhile, even if they have been let down by some aspect of the service.

Give Your Customer Credence

Some customers might be unreasonable by being too demanding in their requests. Some may even shout at you. However, the most important thing is to pay attention to them by listening to their grievances. Ask supportive questions so that the customer can open up to you by phrasing your queries in a way that puts their concern first. For instance, instead of asking ‘Is there something wrong?’ ask ‘How can I assist you?’ Such subtle differences may calm your customer down.

Apologize and Show Empathy

Always offer a simple apology that does not undermine your customer’s complaint. In addition to this, demonstrate that you understand their point of view. You’ll be able to create a bond with the customer, which is a necessary step towards reaching a speedy resolution of the problem.

Offer them Some Compensation

Where possible, for instance, if a customer complains that their food was not cooked as they had requested, you could always give them something ‘on the house’ to make up for the mistake. It is a sneaky way of quickly solving the problem, but it will keep them satisfied, which is the most important service you can perform for a customer in the restaurant business. Nevertheless, you should still ensure you have remedied whatever concern they have.

Follow Up

Always check with customers to see if they are happy with the resolution. You could do this by asking them for their contact details, or talking to them should they return to your restaurant some other time. Remembering your clients makes them feel appreciated and sufficiently cared for, which keeps them coming back to your business.

Thank the Customer

Appreciate that your customer has taken their time to come to you with their grievance. Complaints are good for your business because they give you feedback and insight that help you improve on services offered. Whenever a customer lodges a complaint, tell them that you’re grateful for it and will act on it accordingly. It lets them know that they are of service to you just as you are to them.

Restaurant customer service is continuous, and you have to ensure that what you are offering is of the highest standards. A sustainable way of constantly getting feedback from customers, whether positive or negative is by providing feedback forms. Your customers can grade your services on a scale provided on the form and offer suggestions. Such an inclusion shows that you’re not just interested in giving them food, receiving their payment and seeing them off, but that you want to continue to give them the best service possible.


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