Your customers keep your restaurant going. Exceptional food, service and overall ambiance will keep them loyal to your business. Once you’ve built a regular fan base, you may wonder how to collect glowing reviews you can feature on your website and use to make operational changes. It can be tricky when customers have limited time or you are running a delivery-only operation.
You can motivate diners to give you the input you need to improve your business in several ways. Here’s how to get customer feedback in a restaurant.
What Is Customer Feedback, and Why Is It Important?
Your customers view your restaurant differently from you and your staff. You work hard to create delicious dishes and an inviting atmosphere for diners, but feedback is the best way to understand their experience with you.
Customers’ opinions give you comprehensive insight and essential information about their feelings toward your service, food and staff. Receiving this valuable feedback helps you implement improvements to enhance the experience and keep people returning. Why does your restaurant need their input?
1. Improve Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is how happy people are with your food and service. The only way to know this information is to ask. Their answers help you solve issues and improve their experience with you. Accepting and implementing customer feedback shows you value them and strengthens your relationship.
2. Retain Customers
Happy customers will keep coming back, and people love to feel heard. Did you know 70% of customers who believe a brand understands their wants and needs are likelier to remain loyal?
3. Analyze Staff Performance
Feedback on staff performance shows areas of improvement. It also motivates staff and reflects how they add value. Use customer feedback to upskill and create a team that is a better match for your customers’ needs.
4. Find and Understand Trends
Restaurant and food trends frequently change in response to a desire for sustainability and new technology. Keeping up with and innovatively implementing trends helps you meet customer expectations.
5. Reviews Serve as Social Proof
You can sing your restaurant’s praises all day, but nothing backs up those claims better than social proof. When reviews verify your restaurant standards, it attracts new customers. Reviews are powerful — 90% of customers will read them before engaging with a business.
How Do You Get Customer Feedback?
Customers may tell friends and family about your restaurant, but how do you gather input you can use in meaningful ways? There are several innovative methods available to you.
1. Provide Incentives
Answering a survey takes time, so it’s wise to incentivize people. Giving discounts or meal vouchers is a creative way to motivate your customers.
2. Immediately Respond to Negative Feedback
All businesses will receive a negative review at some point, but how you respond matters. Always stay professional and reply promptly. Understand where the customer is coming from and apologize when appropriate. Your response must be authentic and show people that you appreciate their feedback.
3. Provide a Review Form on Your Website
Your website is the face of your restaurant. Including a review form makes it convenient for existing customers to give feedback and accessible for newcomers to learn more about you.
4. Send Emails or Texts
Email surveys are the most popular way for businesses to gain feedback. Once you’ve collected your customer’s details after their purchase, email them to follow up on their experience. SMS surveys are a valuable collection method too. Most people always have their phones nearby, so creating SMS surveys is an effective alternative.
5. Interact on Social Media
Social media is a free tool any business can use to get online exposure and interact with people. You can use your chosen social media outlets to your advantage through effective community management. Ask online users to review your restaurant and repost rave reviews on social platforms. When people comment or ask questions on your social media pages, always respond to show that you value their opinions.
6. Use a Point-of-Sale System
POS systems have come a long way. These modern systems now enable you to gain real-time feedback at purchase. You don’t have to wait to receive reviews and can immediately address any issues.
What Types of Questions Do You Ask for Valuable Customer Feedback?
You know customer feedback is crucial, but where do you begin? Getting the answers you need will help you understand your customers more thoroughly. To create an effective survey, remember to keep it short and simple. Too many questions will overwhelm your customers.
The following are valuable questions to include in a customer feedback questionnaire for your restaurant.
1. Overall Feedback Questions
Begin your survey with these three essential questions:
- How was your overall experience?
- What did you like most?
- Do you have any recommendations for improvement?
These questions give insight into the core aspects that stand out to diners. You’ll know what works and what could use more attention.
2. General Feedback Questions
General questions will tell you how customers typically perceive your restaurant. You’ll learn how they discovered your restaurant and whether they will likely return. You can include questions like:
- How did you hear about us?
- Would you visit again?
- How often will you return?
- How likely are you to recommend us to others?
3. Food Feedback Questions
Tasty meals are the primary reason customers visit. Staying open to receiving feedback or criticism about your food can improve your menu, selection, ingredients and cooking. Ask these questions to know how people perceive your food:
- How would you rate the quality?
- Did you like the variety of options?
- Is there anything new you would like to add to the menu?
- If you have dietary restrictions, did we accommodate them well?
4. Technical Feedback
When customers order food for delivery, they expect it to be on time, fresh and at the right temperature. To get technical feedback, ask customers:
- Did the food arrive quickly?
- Was your meal fresh?
- Was the temperature appropriate?
5. Service Questions
Customer service is a significant part of your restaurant. Customers who feel welcomed and well-received will become regular and loyal customers. To evaluate your customer service, consider asking these questions:
- Who served you?
- Was the service friendly and welcoming?
- Did you receive your food on time?
Partner With Revolving Kitchen to Improve Your Restaurant Operations
Customer feedback is a valuable part of your restaurant operations. At Revolving Kitchen, we help you successfully operate your business in a fully equipped rental kitchen. Choose from hourly, monthly or yearly rentals to suit your restaurant needs. To partner with us, call us at 972-332-3516 or fill out the contact form on our website.