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5 Common Types of Restaurant Customer Complaints

November 28 2018 by Dan Pecha

Common_Customer_Complaints.jpgDespite your best efforts, there’s no way to please everyone — and that leads to the occasional customer complaint. Instead of running yourself ragged trying to be all things to all people, accept the fact that you will receive negative feedback from time to time and take comfort in knowing you are not alone. 

Consumer Reports surveyed restaurant operators nationwide to find out what they routinely hear from disgruntled customers about everything from atmosphere and fellow diners to servers and, of course, food. Here are the top five gripes:

1. Untidiness

Dirty tables, utensils and glassware, ill-equipped restrooms and unkempt servers are top customer turn-offs.

2. Rudeness 

If a server cops an attitude, rushes customers through a meal or refers to them by cutesy names like “honey” or “dear,” you’ll likely hear about it. Another bugaboo that’s perceived as rude? Automatically adding gratuities of 18% or more to check totals.

Restaurant Employee Retention

3. Edibleness

Meals or beverages that are served at incorrect temperatures, items don’t look or taste as described in the menu, or that are not what was ordered will cause customers to lose their appetites for your restaurant.

4. Inattentiveness 

Tables that aren’t ready more than 15 minutes past a reservation time, slow service, inaccurately calculated check totals, server confusion about who gets which meal or no water at the table will irritate customers.

5. Noisiness

A roomful of poorly positioned tables coupled with loud, distracting or cell phone-gabbing diners will keep dissatisfied customers anything but quiet.

Your back-of-the-house team plays an important role in keeping customer complaints to a minimum. How do you keep them happy, positive and customer-focused when they're feeling the strain of understaffed shifts caused by the ongoing industry labor shortage? Use the practical advice in our eBook, The Efficient Kitchen: Doing More With Fewer Employees. Click the button below to download your copy now!

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Categories: Customer Service, Restaurants

Dan Pecha

Written by Dan Pecha

Pizzeria Consultant
Dan is a hugely important slice of Alive & Kickin’ (see what we did there?). He started in the pizza business when he was just 14 and eventually opened his own chain of restaurants, supplying his own dough balls for each of them. He expanded to supplying dough products to other operations, then founded the Dough Shop®. Alive & Kickin’ was thrilled to acquire the Dough Shop® in 2015.