Top Restaurant Complaints and How to handle

How to Handle Customer Complaints

Being in the hospitality industry our hopes are that every day we delight guests and never have a complaint.  However, we cannot make everyone happy and we also will have times that our staff our even ourselves will not live up to the expectations of the customer 100% of the time.  This episode focuses on the top areas that restaurants see the most complaints and how to avoid and handle them. 

Wait Time – Speed of Service

  • Have a focus on Time at the right time (Day and Times)
    • Examples – Lunch on Monday vs. Dinner of Saturday
  • Be organized – how is the kitchen set up
  • Train Servers to handle longer wait times with customers
    • Expectations

Order Accuracy

  • Map out each option a customer has and train staff
  • Pay special attention to changes and substitutes
    • Diet Restrictions – a great way to keep or lose a customer
  • WRITE THE ORDER DOWN!  There are no awards for your memory
  • Kitchen / Expo / Waitstaff – Should all be working towards giving the customer the best experience.  Don’t deliver food to a customer that is below your set standard.

Dirty Restrooms

  • Start and end the day Clean
    • Have cleaning products readily available for staff and train them how to use
  • Have check points assigned throughout the night.
    • Check soap/Towels/Tissue

Unfriendly Service (Greetings)

  • Define for your staff what ‘Friendly’ Service – Looks, Sounds and Feels like
    • Everyone thinks they are positive
  • Be candid with employees and how they react and handle customers

Poor Handling of a customer concern

  • Track customer issues/concerns
    • Train team on how to handle the most common that happen
    • Also strategize ways to lower and eliminate common concerns/issues

Issues and Concerns you do not hear about during the dining experience

  • Online comments and reviews are a big deal these days.
    • Respond to everything!!
  • Ask for 5-star reviews – this is important and Google loves them!


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