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Customer Service

Customer Service

A recent MasterCard poll suggests that 80% of all restaurant complaints are related to poor service, not inadequate products. 23% of those surveyed said they would never return to a restaurant where they were dissatisfied with the service they received.

Likewise, the National Association of Customer Service found that the biggest reason retail customers decide not to return to an establishment relates directly to the level of personal attention and treatment they receive from the service staff. There's no escaping it; service is very much a "hot button" today.

With more restaurants than ever to choose from, your customers are less likely to give you another chance than they were 10 years ago. And as these surveys imply, the easiest and most common way to lose customers, or to cause them to return less often, is by failing to deliver in the service area.

Our service section will go beyond just the prevailing view of "good service." Service can be approached as just a series of mechanical functions, serve from the left, clear from the right. Obviously the mechanics are important, but you won't gain a competitive advantage today by just being efficient.

Our resident service experts will present a series of ideas and approaches to focus and capitalize on the human dimension of service. They believe that successful foodservice is fundamentally and ultimately based on human relationships and personal connection. You'll get ideas you can use to create a personable and guest-friendly service staff, which is the most effective way of building a loyal customer base and growing your business.

DOWNLOAD: Customer Complaint/Response Letters DOWNLOAD: Customer Complaint/Response Letters
Nobody's perfect, so how a restaurant handles customer complaints can make a big difference to their future sales and profits. Whether you're responding letter, email or online, these templates can help you respond quickly and appropriately to show you care about your guests' experience and give you a shot at turning those disappointed diners into loyal customers. more >>

How to Turn Complaining Customers Into Loyal Guests How to Turn Complaining Customers Into Loyal Guests
Complaints can wear you out because they so often feel like a personal attack on your integrity and wallet; but if you're able to listen patiently to what your customers are telling you it may alert you to situations that need your attention. See how to realize the positive effect complaints can have on your bottom line more >>

How to Control Noise In Your Restaurant How to Control Noise In Your Restaurant
By Stephani Robson
The more sounds there are in an environment, the harder it is for us to extract meaning from a particular sound source. Noise is just sound that is undesirable for a given situation. Here are some strategies for toning down the noise and keeping the rest of the house humming. more >>

How to Handle and Reduce Guest Complaints in Your Restaurant How to Handle and Reduce Guest Complaints in Your Restaurant
by Joe Erickson
Customer complaints are inevitable -- or are they? In this article, we review the systems and techniques to address and, better yet, prevent customer dissatisfaction. If complaints are frequent in your restaurant, maybe it's time for you to get "mad as hell" and put in place systems to prevent them. more >>

Are You Consistently Inviting Your Guests To Return? You Should Are You Consistently Inviting Your Guests To Return? You Should
by Bill Marvin
Have you ever been out to eat and been ignored once you paid the check? When you think about the place where that happened, do you feel anxious to return? You know the cliche‚ that you don't get a second chance for a first impression. It is also true that the quality of your last impression may well determine if you get a second chance at all. more >>

How to Recover Graciously From Mistakes & Complaints How to Recover Graciously From Mistakes & Complaints
by Bill Marvin
As a young operator, I always hated complaints. Complaints often seemed like a personal affront. I tried very hard to make it right for my guests and when they complained, it felt like a knife in the heart. I always wanted to sit them down and set them straight about what it really takes to run a restaurant! more >>

Success Focus Video: Power of a Smile Success Focus Video: Power of a Smile
It is easy for owners and managers to get caught up in the ongoing operational details for their restaurant and to neglect or loose sight of the human aspect. This video explains the importance of a smile in your restaurant. more >>

How to Use Gift Cards to Boost Sales & Cash Flow
by Joe Erickson
Gift card can boost your cash flow and increase guest loyalty. But not all gift cards are created equal. Before you jump on the gift card band wagon make sure you have all the facts to get the best gift card program for your restaurant. more >>

How to Create the Right Ambience In Your Restaurant How to Create the Right Ambience In Your Restaurant
Ambience is a tricky thing to describe. It's a mood; it's a setting; it's a feeling you get from the surrounding environment. Most restaurateurs know intuitively that their guests seek out the dining experience you offer as much as they seek out your food. Here are a few tips to consider as you plan the ambience for your new startup. more >>

How to Have More Productive Preshift Meetings How to Have More Productive Preshift Meetings
by Diana Lambdin Meyer
According to unofficial estimates by industry experts, fewer than 50 percent of independent restaurants have preshift meetings. But the really successful ones usually do. Those who conduct preshifts well all do them a little different, but can agree on two important points for good meetings, keep it short and let others do the talking. more >>

How Visible Should the Chef Be? How Visible Should the Chef Be?
by Chef Michael Tsonton
Restaurant owners have differing opinions about how much visibility the Chef should have with their guests. While some Chefs just aren't comfortable making their away across the dining room, there's a new breed of Chef that welcomes the spotlight more >>

Reading the Table: Help Your Wait Staff to Avoid Robotic Service Reading the Table: Help Your Wait Staff to Avoid Robotic Service
by John Richardson
Experienced wait staff have a unique style of guest interaction that is repeated over and over each shift. However, the more successful of thease seasoned pros has learned to adapt their style to meet guest expectations more >>