by Donovan Dillon Contributor
Posted on November 14, 2013 20:05 PM
Even the finest restaurants in the world get the occasional bad review, but by implementing a good restaurant marketing strategy, the good reviews far outweigh the bad. It is impossible to please every customer when working in the restaurant industry, and, at some point, every establishment will deal with a negative comment posted on online review sites, such as Tripadvisor or Yelp. However, there are strategies to help avoid dealing with those negative comments.
Although many people would think that the food in a restaurant is the most important factor when writing an online review, the fact is that customers often complain more about customer service than they do the food. Customers complain about everything from how quickly they were served, how often the wait staff checked on them and, especially about rude staff members. Rudeness of staff is also a common complaint among online reviews. As part of restaurant marketing, it is critical to train staff to focus on the customer and that rudeness to customers is not tolerated.
Quantity vs. Quality
Customers want quality meals in the right quantity, and they do not want to pay extra for things they believe should already be included. Providing an extra plate to a table of diners who wants to share a meal, as long as it is not an all-you-can-eat buffet, costs a restaurant nothing. Free refills of coffee, tea and sodas are a reasonable customer service. Small serving sizes are another common complaint on review websites, as are weak pours at the bar. Providing extra plates at no cost or free refills are actually restaurant marketing tools you can include in your advertising, and could be the reason a customer visits your establishment.
Appearance and Cleanliness
Dining rooms that are excessively cold, dirty dishes left on tables, or bathrooms that lack attention are common complaints as well. Although errors happen, especially when it comes to dishes, common maintenance and attention to detail is a critical part of restaurant marketing. Of particular concern are the restrooms, as many diners will consider those a reflection of what the kitchen looks like. If a restaurant cannot keep the restrooms clean and well-stocked, chances are the uncleanliness of the kitchen is in a similar condition. Assign staff members the duty of checking the restroom for soap and paper products. Floors must be swept and mopped throughout the hours of operation. Never set the thermostat so that the staff is comfortable, but to the comfort of diners. Wait staff will frequently be warmer than those seated while enjoying a meal. If you notice several diners either fanning themselves or wrapping jackets over their shoulders, adjust the temperature accordingly.
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