Your customers are the backbone of your business. Getting good customer feedback is every restaurant’s goal, because it determines not only how other people view your business—it helps you figure out what your restaurant’s strongest points are.
When you get negative feedback, it’s a way for you to understand where you can improve your business’s performance in order to attract more customers by addressing their concerns.
Feedback in the form of restaurant reviews online, through surveys conducted at the restaurant, or from other food reviewing sites are all ways for you to get access to perceptions about your business and work on your restaurant management strategies.
Here are some ways to get restaurant customer feedback that you can incorporate into your feedback collection methods.
1. Send Out Emails and Texts
Make sure that when your guests are visiting your restaurant, you get their email address or their phone numbers. You can ask them to fill out a short form which will help you keep a record of everyone who visits your restaurant—and also to reach out to them.
Whenever there are new offers and discounts on meals, you can use this information to contact customers and let them know. You can also use send them messages when they’ve recently visited—asking how their experience was, how the food tasted, and whether they would be interested in revisiting. You should also ask about any complaints they may have had, so you can address them.
The more personalized a text or email is, the more chances there are of a customer getting back to you. You can send out these feedback messages a day or a few hours after your guest visits—so they have enough time to think about how they liked the experience.
2. Use QR Codes
Because handing out physical survey cards may be harder during the pandemic when keeping social distancing in mind, you can use QR codes. You simply show a show a code to the customers when they are ready to leave or are waiting for their bill. When they scan the code with their phones, they will be directed to an online survey form that they can fil out.
3. Have a Feedback Option on Your Website
If you want an option for regular customers to be able to provide feedback, you can use a survey option on your website. When you know an old customer is going visit your website again to look through your menu or place an order online, the option to provide feedback on the website can work for them.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to new customers who are simply going over your website for the first time and have no experience with your restaurant. However, when they are able to see reviews left by other customers, it will make it easier for them to decide whether they want to dine in with your or not.
4. Ask On Your Social Media
Most customers are active on social media. Whether you use Instagram or Facebook to stay in touch with your audience—there are options to ask for people’s opinions on new dishes everywhere. You can put up a poll on your stories or link a survey in your posts.
Not only is it important to have social media in order to gauge how your audience feels about your restaurant—it also works in increasing your reach. Many people might not learn about your business through word of mouth or from seeing posters or ads anywhere in the city—but if they come across a social media post—they are likely to investigate what the hype is all about.
A Facebook platform shows your reviews on the main page. When a visitor comes to your page and they don’t find any feedback or reviews, they can even become suspicious of how active your business is. When there’s a high level of engagement, people feel more inclined towards your business.
5. Focus On Your Loyal Customers
Your loyal customers are more likely to give you positive and honest feedback. They’re also your best bet when it comes to spreading the word about your restaurant and reaching a larger audience through word-of-mouth.
Whenever your loyal customers visit or order from your business, ask them to tell their friends and family about your restaurant. You should also ask them if there was anything they had problems with or would like to see an improvement in—and ensure them of your willingness to take these problems seriously.
6. Be Active When You Get Reviews
A major turn off for customers is when they give honest feedback and receive no response. If a customer is going out of their way to let you know that they have a complaint or that they appreciated your services—be sure to get back to them.
You should thank customers who submit surveys and give you feedback. If you find out that several customers have had a negative experience within your restaurant—be it with the food or the behaviour of an employee—you should let them know that you are working on addressing the issue.
Sometimes, a restaurant will also make a social media post to let their customers know that a particular issue has been picked up and will be corrected as soon as possible. This lets customers know that you are vigilant with the feedback you receive and encourages them to keep offering more of their own insights.
Final Thoughts: Share the Feedback
Last but not least, when you get feedback from your customers, make it available for others to see. As we’ve mentioned above, some platforms automatically feature reviews on the front page, while in other situations, such as on your own website, you will have to design it in such a way that feedback is visible.
Not only does this help customers feel seen and heard, it allows new and unfamiliar customers to gauge the kind of business you have. When they see that you are honest about the feedback you receive and are willing to be transparent—it creates a more welcoming impression of your business. Of course, you must also be willing to address the negative reviews you get.