How to Develop a Restaurant Comment Card

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If you own or operate a restaurant, customer comment cards can help you discover how your patrons feel about the experience you offer. Distributing and reviewing the cards can be cost-effective; the key is knowing what to ask. If you want to improve operations based on customer feedback, be prepared for an added expense.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Microsoft Word
  • Professional printing services
  • Pens
  • Decide what you hope to achieve by distributing comment cards. Do you want to find out why there has been a consistent drop in revenue? Do you want to change the menu but need help deciding what items to keep? Have customers been complaining about the service and are you looking for specifics as to why? Knowing answers to these questions in advance can help you ask pointed questions and save time.

  • Use Microsoft Word or another word processor to type out the questions you'll ask. The title of your card can be "We welcome your feedback." Ask general questions about your customers to start such as their names, unless they want to be anonymous, and their age group. As for the survey, ask questions like: What is your favorite menu item? How often do dine at our restaurant---or other restaurants---per month? How can we improve our service?

  • Visit Kinko's or your trusty printer and ask them to design and print your cards. Three inches by five inches is a convenient size. If you want to spend the extra money, you can ask your graphic designer to incorporate your logo and other color images, but this is not a necessity. The more cards you print, the less you will pay per card. You can also order online at VistaPrint.com or OvernightPrints.com.

  • Distribute your cards. Ask your servers to deliver one card per table along with the check. Keep a stack with the maitre d or hostess, so your customers can fill them out if there is a wait.

  • When reviewing the comments, remember to have thick skin if you're asking questions that might invite criticism, especially if you're asking for feedback to improve your service.

  • Now that you have an idea of what your customers like and dislike, create a plan to implement change. This can mean offering better customer service training to your staff, or maybe you need to add a gluten-free section to your menu. Whatever the change might be, develop an organized plan to so the change process happens as smoothly as possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the comment cards to develop a customer mailing list. With their permission, add your customers' names and contact information to a database, which you can use to send reminders and promotions. For better results on responses, offer an incentive to customers who return their comment cards. Hold a drawing for an iPhone or flat-screen TV using the cards your customers return to you.

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