Restaurant Customer Relationships: How to Keep Dissatisfied Customers in Your Restaurant?

Writes Panos Tsagarakis

You may be a great chef, but being a restaurant owner does not necessarily mean you are a good manager.

Because it’s common for customers, even top restaurants, to be unhappy with something, whatever it is, the way you handle it will determine whether they leave satisfied or quite angry. Which, of course, made the difference between friends and family. And this is disastrous for your personal reputation and, most importantly, for your business.

So follow these tips to make your customers happy.

Proper handling of dissatisfied customers is a very important part of management. To be able to handle this type of situation requires patience, the ability to admit the mistake made and the ability to find ways to correct it. This is especially important for any business, especially for a restaurant, because the impact of word of mouth is very important, because dissatisfied customers tend to be the ones who talk the most and need immediate action from you to win them back. , but also to attract new customers. So here are some instructions on how to handle them so they can come back.

Find out what the problem is

The first step in dealing with a dissatisfied customer is simply to talk to them about what upset them or the negative experience they had. It’s amazing how many issues can be resolved with a simple discussion of the situation that has arisen. Admit that you made a mistake and offer him some incentives that could keep him in your restaurant, and push him back.

It is important to reassure your client, who believes that he is always right, that you are treating him with this condition even if in some cases the right is not on his side at all. An employee’s ability to take responsibility, even when the fault is not his, is important because you do not want to lose a customer who is upset.

An important incentive that restaurants can offer when they have to deal with a dissatisfied customer is a free meal for their next visit. This will probably bring the customer back to your restaurant, and give you a chance to show that you really care. The motivation of course should be according to the severity of the problem, the offered meal should be used in the most serious cases. For less serious problems, you may be offered a discount on your meal, free appetizers or dessert, or extra drinks. However, whatever the motives you offer, make sure you offer first of all a sincere apology and the assurance that the unfortunate incident will not happen again.

Bad reviews and how to handle them

There are some cases where the customer may post a bad review of your restaurant online. This can never be good, so you need to take action! Ask the person who wrote it to find out why he was unhappy when he visited your restaurant, and offer some incentive to persuade him to visit your place again. Most likely this man, and just the fact that you took the time to find him and connect with him to resolve an issue he had with your business, he will be happy.

How to ensure that this does not happen again

Although no one ever knows what might happen to a customer dissatisfied with your restaurant, there are ways to take precautionary measures to ensure that the chances of unpleasant situations occurring will remain minimal. To achieve this, you need to train your staff on best practices for customer service from the moment they are hired, so that you do not have to worry too often about dissatisfied customers. When your staff deals with customers, they need to make sure they understand how they represent you and your restaurant.

Dealing with a dissatisfied customer is never a pleasant situation, but the best way to handle it, in case this happens, is to do everything possible to make sure they leave at least satisfied. Sometimes, of course, this is not easy at all, but I believe that the above instructions will at least help you calm them down!


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