Not sure where your restaurant needs improvement? Read your reviews.
As a restaurant owner, you understand that the foodservice industry is exceptionally competitive and every guest truly counts. You realize the necessity of balancing the factors of cost, expenses and guest experience. Sometimes, it is hard to discover which area of your restaurant operation needs improvement. Can your guest wait time improve? Is your food served at the correct temperature? Are dishes consistent in flavor and texture? Are orders getting mixed up frequently? It is sometimes easy to overlook some issues such as these, but their effects can be heard loudly, especially from word of mouth and online reviews. If not acted upon swiftly, you could be looking at a steady decrease in sales.
The guest experience is one of the most critical aspects for restaurant success. You cannot only expect great food, or great décor to win over the discerning guest. If you’re feeling lost, here’s a tip to help you unearth problems that may be affecting guest experience and patronage at your restaurant.
Perform a web search for your restaurant’s name. You’ll likely find Yelp! or Google reviews pop-up near the top. Check out those listings and read each review carefully – you’ll be amazed at how much detail and insight some may provide. Sure, you may have heard that generally people usually have more bad things to say than good, but online reviewers, especially “Yelpers,” are typically genuinely sincere in their reviews and will rate accordingly. Sometimes, there may be a rare one-time issue but if you start to see a trend in complaints, well, there’s a great start to identifying a problem.
The main online review of a restaurant will critique particular dishes – whether they tasted too salty, sweet, dry, authentic, or delicious. Take ample notes to see if your dishes need adjusting. As much as there are food assessments, there are many accounts of either horrible or great customer service from wait staff. This is key because even if you serve the best Philly cheese steak sandwich on the entire East Coast, who will want to frequent your restaurant if your wait staff is slow or rude? You may even stumble upon reviews of the cleanliness of your tables and restrooms. A major concern of guests is whether or not the establishment they are about to eat at is sanitary or not!
Check out some common complaints posted in online reviews:
1) Food was not as good as they hoped
2) Rude staff or bad service
3) Long lines
4) Long wait time for food
5) Bad parking
6) Dirty bathrooms
7) Limited menu
9) Small portions
On the bright side, you can also see where you are shining and give yourself or your staff a pat on the back.
So do your homework and start looking for areas in which you can greatly improve your restaurant. If you need assistance, contact our restaurant consultants
Originally published March 16, 2012 at http://www.synergyconsultants.com/not-sure-where-your-restaurant-needs-improvement-read-your-reviews/