How to Improve Guest Satisfaction in the Restaurant Industry

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Helping restaurant guests with orders can help improve their overall satisfaction.
Helping restaurant guests with orders can help improve their overall satisfaction. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

There are a number of ways to improve guest satisfaction in the restaurant industry. The key is making sure all guests have a pleasant experience. Restaurant customers like waiters, cashiers and hosts that are helpful and friendly. Therefore, make sure you hire enthusiastic employees who enjoy working at your restaurant. Customers also expect you to deliver what you promised in your Internet, radio or yellow pages advertising. Hence, strive to meet and even exceed your guests' expectations.

Focus on the Basics

One way to improve customer satisfaction in your restaurant is to focus on the basics. Know your customers' priorities. Quality, service and cleanliness are usually key variables in most restaurants. Customers expect hot, tasty food with the right textures. Those with special requests expect their orders to reflect it. For example, a customer may want to order just grilled chicken without the bread. Thus, provide that guest with exactly what she wants. Guests also expect waitresses to check on them occasionally and refill their drinks. People with kids may need booster seats or high chairs. And most restaurant patrons prefer eating in establishments with clean windows and dining areas. It adds to the appeal of the restaurant.

Train Your Staff

You also can improve customer service by ensuring that your managers and employees are properly trained. Chefs or those who prepare meals should know how long to cook meats, vegetables and other food items. Similarly, those serving food in fast food restaurants, for example, should learn the proper food portions for all menu items. Your customers know when they are being short-changed on food portions. The food won't meet their expectations if it is undercooked or includes too few ingredients. Also, train your customers on the proper sanitation procedures, including washing their hands before serving food.

Provide Updates on Orders

It is always best to keep your customers apprised of their order status. Tell a customer why her order is taking longer. For example, a customer may have ordered a thicker steak that takes longer to cook. Let the customer know exactly why the order is delayed. Also, offer a free dessert if the order takes an unreasonable amount of time. Never let a customer leave your restaurant upset about her food or the service.

Track Your Performance

One of the best ways to ensure guest satisfaction in restaurants is to track your performance. The easiest way to accomplish this is by walking around and asking guests about their food and service. Help guests that have concerns or complaints. Tell people you appreciate their business and invite them to come back. Another way to track performance is through guest surveys. Invite restaurant patrons to fill out survey forms, rating you on key variables such as quality, hospitality, service and cleanliness. Allow customers to elaborate on their responses with open-ended or fill-in-the-blank questions. Use the customer feedback to make improvements in your restaurant operations.

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