Guest Complaints are important to a restaurants success. 80% of guest will not say anything when unhappy. They just won’t return. In other studies 70% of guest said that they were loyal to a restaurant because of the awesome handling of a complaint. Handling a situation right will bring back the guest to your restaurant.
A Guest wants two things when they are not happy. They want to be heard and they want the problem fixed. They do not want to hear excuses. Below are some steps that can be taken when handling a complaint. I call it L.A.S.T.
Listen: When a guest complains, Listen. Let the guest talk and try not to interrupt. Listening makes the guest feel important. It allows you to fully understand the problem and how it might be solved. The guest is often embarrassed will not want to draw attention to the situation. So be patient and listen carefully to their words.
Apologize: The words “I’m very sorry” are the words that should come out of your mouth first. Don’t try to justify the problem or explain the reason for it. This sounds like making an excuse to the guest. The guest came to the restaurant thinking you would make sure all would be well with their experience. You failed to deliver on that expectation. So own it and apologize.
Solve: Ask the guest questions like “What can I do to make this better for you. Be sincere! Give the guest choices if they are not specific about what they want. FIX THE PROBLEM and DON’T MAKE EXCUSES. The guest wants to be happy, satisfied, appreciated. Make it better than it should have been in the first place.
Thank: Guest feedback allows us to become better. So always thank the guest for bringing the issue to your attention. Let them know that you want them to return because they are very important to you and to the restaurant. THEY ARE!
The next time a guest complains remember L.A.S.T. This will help to have your guest return to you again and again.
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Give us a call to set up a presentation to your employees on HOW TO HANDLE A GUEST COMPLAINT. CALL 207-751-8702. OR EMAIL: Social Media Connected