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Customer complaints occur very often, especially within the food industry. It’s true that everyone in the food industry will have to deal with at least one complaint in their entire career. And there are different types of complaints that a customer can make.

Something as simple as getting the wrong kind of drink might just prompt the customer to complain about an employee. Those that receive these kinds of complaints must learn to deal with them in a professional manner because how one deals with them can make all the difference. Because learning how to do so can help you fix a customers as quickly as possible.

Most Common Types of Restaurant Complaints

There are so many things that a customer can complain about, but here are some of the  most common form of complaints that tend to happen in almost every restaurant.

  • Dirty utensils or tables. Nothing irks a customer more than having to see these when they first enter a restaurant.
  • Server removing a plate or beverage before you have even finished.  This can be considered very rude, especially if the server didn’t even ask if you were done with your meal.
  • Meals are not what the customer ordered. Lots of restaurants have received these kinds of complaint reports due to the lack of attention of their servers have to the customers.
  • Server dresses in a sloppy manner, or has very poor hygiene. Even you wouldn’t want to be served by someone who looks like he or she could ruin your dining experience.
  • Very dirty or ill equipped restrooms.  Nobody would want to use a toilet that might still have something in it. Restaurants have to make sure that their toilets are clean at all times.
  • Food does not look or taste as what was described in the restaurant’s menu. If one were to make a restaurant order and finds out that it’s not even remotely the same as what was described in the menu, then it could lead to some serious issues for the restaurant.
  • Slow service. It could either be that servers are moving at such as slow pace, or that those in charge of cooking the food aren’t done on time
  • Impolite or very condescending servers. This is a very common problem in just about every restaurant.  Customers who experience horrible servers usually bring up the complain to management where they have to be the one’s to deal with the irate customer.
  • Miscalculations of the check. Although this kind of problem doesn’t happen too often, it still does from time to time. Customers will always complain if their bill is higher than it’s supposed to be so always make sure that the calculations are accurate.

How Your Restaurant Can Benefit From Complaints

Although it is never a good thing to receive customer complaints, it can give managers a heads up on the different problems that their restaurant contains. Customer feedback is a great source of information for the business. You’ll be able to learn what things your customers aren’t satisfied with, as well as informing you staff about the information.

You can then proceed to figuring out the solution on how to deal with these problems. Your customers will appreciate that you took the time to hear their complaints, and it will be better for your business as more customers will be inclined to do business with you due to your restaurant’s good nature.

Steps on How to Handle Customer Complaints in the Food Service Industry

Those in charge of a restaurant are going to have to assess their employee’s training  when it comes to how they are able to deal with customers who have a problem. Because how they react to these customers will determine whether a particular issue will be solved or not. So if you’re an employee, then be sure to follow these steps to help you deal with customer complaints in your restaurant.

  • Make sure that your complete attention is on unhappy customer and allow that customer to explain the problem without any interruptions. Be sure to listen to everything that the customer has to say. Take down important notes to let him or her know that you are taking the issue seriously.
  • Apologize to the customer about the problem. Try to empathize with the customer and show that you are going to act on it by addressing the problem as soon possible. No matter how frustrated the customer may be, make sure to remain calm and try to solve the problem while making sure that the situation does not escalate into anything bigger.
  • Ask the customer as to what you can do to solve his or her problem.If you think that the solution is simple, then do what you can to solve it.  If it’s something as minor as replacing a customer’s meal, then address the kitchen staff of the urgency of the situation. Sometimes it might even be better if you have the manager handle the complaint because some customers might feel more comfortable talking to someone “in charge”.
  • Always make the extra effort to try and resolve the issue. Do whatever you can to make sure that the customer feels better by providing him or her with a discount for a future meal within your restaurant. By showing that you are doing whatever you can to keep the customer happy will let them know that your restaurant is the type that wants nothing but the customer’s happiness. And a happy or satisfied customer is one that might be willing to bring their friends to your establishment, which would mean great for your business.
  • Learn from the problem. Service complaints or product complaints or even can help your restaurant grow as it will tell you the things that you need to change or improve. Take advantage of the situation and implement ways that will help you prevent future similar problems from happening in the future. It’s also important that other employees learn how to handle the problems so to make the process much quicker and smoother.

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