9 Ways Restaurants Can Increase Their Level Of Customer Satisfaction

The very purpose of a restaurant is to cater to its customers. No matter what each restaurant’s individual aims and objectives are, in order to fulfil them it is a must for all restaurants to keep their customers satisfied so that they come back on a regular basis and keep the restaurant hustling and bustling and striving towards its goals. Here are 9 ways restaurants can manage to keep their customers satisfied:

By definition, consumer satisfaction is a measure of how happy customers are with the product or service being offered to them.

By being able to determine whether the customer was satisfied or unsatisfied with their service at the restaurant and why, the restaurant owner can track patterns of customer opinions and hence determine what changes and improvements can be made in order to satisfy previously dissatisfied customers and what they should continue to do or build upon in order to keep existing customers satisfied.

The main focus of any organisation, no matter which sector, is to satisfy its customers. It’s all about knowing who your customers are and what it takes to actually satisfy them. This can be tricky considering each customer may have their respective wants and needs and criteria of what they classify as a “satisfactory” dining experience, but at the end of the day it’s just about ensuring that the expectations of the customers are met to some regard.

But don’t worry, we’re here to provide you with 9 tips that can help boost your restaurant’s consumer satisfaction:

1) Quality

Serving good quality food is a great way to ensure customer satisfaction. When it comes to quality, it goes beyond just whether it tastes good or not. It’s about the quality of the raw materials used (Is it fresh? Has it been cleaned properly? Has it been bought from a trustworthy supplier that guarantees purity?) and the type of crockery you serve it in (Is appealing to look at? Is it durable for long term use? Is it easy to use, not too light or too heavy?). The quality offered to the customer is dependent on various such factors and can directly affect consumer satisfaction. If the customer is not satisfied with the quality of the food, it’s unlikely that they are going to choose to eat at that restaurant again, especially considering how overly conscious everyone is being now due to Covid-19. It also builds up a reputation for the restaurant in the eyes of customers which will then affect the perspective with which they view the restaurant, hence directly affecting their decisions to eat there or not. Similarly, serving good quality food can build up a good reputation for the restaurant and will encourage people to pay more for the better quality they are getting.

2) Service

The quality of service offered by the waiters and waitresses is equally as important for a customer’s experience at a restaurant as the quality of the food. Ensuring that the staff is amiable and that each customer’s needs are being met with utmost care and attention gives people a personalized experience that they never forget, and keep coming back to. Right down to the delivery drivers, all staff must have values that align with the values of the business so that they can serve the customers exactly as the restaurant owner expects them to. Keeping high quality staff may cost more than you’d like to spend on staff in the short term, but over time the contribution they make to the business will be far greater than the cost bared at the initial stages. By making customers feel cared for and valued through high quality personalized service, the restaurant is far more likely to leave its customers satisfied. It’s a simple trick, if restaurants are loyal to their customers, their customers are loyal to them.

3) Value For Money

Satisfying customers is simply about meeting the customers expectations. There is no direct formula to consumer satisfaction as each restaurant is different and so are the needs and wants of each customer. However, as long as the customers’ expectations which have been identified are met with care they should be satisfied with their experience with the restaurant. For example: you cannot expect high quality dishes at a fast-food joint, but you can leave a fast food joint a satisfied customer because you are getting exactly what was advertised for a suitable price, hence meeting the expectations the customer must have going into a fast-food restaurant. Similarly, when eating at a 5-star restaurant, a customer expects professional standard dishes and will no doubt be disappointed if the food presented isn’t high quality. They will also be willing to pay the higher price as their expectations are higher quality. So more than anything, it’s about what you’re offering to the customer for the price. The good old concept of “value for money”. If the food at a local restaurant is great but is priced too high, the customer is not likely to be satisfied and hence unlikely to come back. And similarly, if the customer is paying high prices at a restaurant but the food makes up for the cost with either it’s quality or quantity, they will be satisfied with their expense and are likely to come back. As long as restaurants can manage to meet the customers expectations for the price they are paying, the customer should be satisfied.

4) Added Value

A restaurant offers much more than just food, it offers the customer an experience. As much as it is about what is put on the plate, it is about where they’re placing the plate too. From music to lighting to the service offered, it’s about creating an ambience for the customer to truly enjoy the hospitality of the restaurant. This works for delivery as well, from the professionalism of the delivery driver to the quality of the packaging used. All of these factors create nothing but value for the food and the experience. Added value is the difference between the price the product/service is sold for and the actual cost of the inputs involved in manufacturing/offering the product/service. So, added value is simply the increase in value that the business creates by undertaking the “production process” or carrying out the service in its entirety from scratch. A good example is, imagine a celebrity chef preparing and serving a dish at his 5- star restaurant, it’s likely to have a relatively high selling price, even if the same exact dish with the same exact ingredients is replicated at a lower rated restaurant by a lesser known chef. The value added to the dish by the chef and the good reputation they and their business enjoy gives them the ability to charge the customer a higher selling price because they’ve managed to add value to what they’re offering using their status. Most customers, recognising said value, will also likely be willing to spend more money because they recognise that it is value for money. In short – upsell, upsell, upsell. This can be done by building a brand and establishing yourself (like the celebrity chef), offering conveniences like online ordering or delivery services, focusing on the quality of service by hiring well-trained staff, or focusing on appearances from the way the food is plated to remodelling the interiors to give a better ambience. By implementing such changes, the restaurant will be able to satisfy their customers even more and will also have the freedom to charge a relatively higher price. However, you may be thinking – wouldn’t charging a higher price lead to reduced demand from customers on a budget? Well, there is a way to add value to your service without raising the selling price. Since added value is the difference between the selling price and the cost of making the product/service, you can also add value by reducing the cost of production. There are many ways to do this, like implementing economies of scale by buying raw ingredients in bulk from your supplier, but remember not to compromise on quality! You want to ensure value is added after all.

5) Compensate

In a perfect world, all restaurants would want to successfully implement all of these tactics and ensure that every single customer has an amazing experience with the restaurant. This, however, is hardly ever the case. There are likely to be slip ups and bad experiences for certain customers which may even be unavoidable. What restaurants can do instead is work on a damage control tactic that will inevitably still satisfy the customer with the response of the restaurant to the issue and may encourage them to return to the restaurant again if their needs and wants or issues are taken seriously and handled well by the restaurant. Unsatisfactory seasonings on the food? Change it for them! The cost of the plate of food and the effort it will take may be worth bearing if it helps the restaurant retain the customer in the long run and will keep the customer satisfied while giving the restaurant a good reputation. Accidentally messed up their order? Offer them a compensatory dessert or discount coupon. By doing this the restaurant shows that it puts the customers’ needs first, hence leaving the customer satisfied despite any imperfect dining experiences.

6) Feedback

Restaurant owners try their level best to try and offer what according to them is the optimum level of service. There are things learnt from other people, through various mediums of sharing information and knowledge, and of course just the things gathered with experience. However, at the end of the day, this is all looked at and hence implemented from the personal perspective of the restaurant owner and what they interpret or reckon is the right step to take or change to make. Often, the primary audience that is itself to be at the receiving end of these changes is overlooked as the biggest and most apt source of information for most restaurant. Getting a first-hand download of the thoughts and outlook of the people a restaurant is catering to is a great way to ensure that right changes are being implemented at the right time, it is also the greatest tool to find out exactly what needs to be altered in the first place. Basically, conducting market research throughout the operation of your business is an incredible way to remain on track for a food business so that they keep meeting their main target of keeping their customers satisfied. This leads to a good reputation, which means new customers join and the happy customers also keep coming back. Increased sales, increased revenue, increased profits, and in the long run the priceless benefits that come with having a good reputation. Second- hand research is a cheap, quick, and easy way to get the latest information that you require. The easiest means for this is the internet. The sheer vastness of the internet enables restaurants owners to be able to access limitless amounts of data within minutes at practically no significant cost whatsoever, however it does have its downsides. The validity and accuracy of the data cannot exactly be vouched for as the information may be outdated or even false entirely because the internet is after all an unsupervised plane where anyone can upload anything at their own whim. Moreover, since its second-hand the information that is being searched for in particular may not even be available or apt to the needs of the restaurant owner or their demographic. First-hand data research, on the other hand, gives the promise of validity and complete accuracy to the restaurant owner’s particular needs. Although it may take more time and effort, and maybe even have a slight cost attached to it, it will surely guarantee results. Feedback forms with menus, verbal feedback at the time of service, online feedback forms with incentives, etc. are all means of collecting data from the restaurant’s consumer base. This data can hence be analysed and useful findings can be used to implement beneficial changes which will boost the restaurant’s consumer satisfaction in the long run. Knowing exactly what the customer wants will help the restaurant know how to keep them satisfied.

7) Reward Loyalty

Restaurants are often so focused on gaining new customers that retaining the existing customers is a task they often tend to overlook. In the efforts to try new things and achieve gaining new customers, restaurants unknowingly let go of a consumer base that was already showing interest and building. By showing existing workers they are valued using various brand loyalty tactics, restaurants can build brand loyalty and satisfy their customers at the same time.

One great way to retain customers is to make either a club or loyalty card. Recurring customers get to pile up their tokens and after a specific number of visits to the restaurants they get to enjoy certain benefits from the restaurant in the form of either free dishes or discounts or basically anything that could be of some value to a customer. By incentivizing visits to the restaurant by regular customers, the restaurant ensures a steady stream of sales and hence doesn’t have to suddenly raise costs for promotions or offers in order to survive due to lack of customers. This enables restaurant owners to slowly but surely, increase their profit margins while keeping their customers satisfied.

8) Personalisation

One of the greatest ways to ensure that a restaurant gives its customers a satisfactory service is by giving them a personalised experience. It’s the little things which over a course of time lead to increased consumer loyalty, like exceptional customer service, not only in terms of quality but in terms of personalisation, by making each customer feel valued and important by remembering them and their preferences, favourite orders, and perhaps the names of their friends and family. Consumer loyalty is the lifeblood of a business. While restaurant owners go out seeking ways to grow their business, regular consumers give surety that the business will keep running by giving a steady stream of revenue that the restaurant owner can rely on as they make efforts to amplify the business. Once customers are assured their needs will be looked after and they feel like a valued customer, they will be satisfied and are likely to come back.

9) Delivery

One of the greatest conveniences that a restaurant can offer to a customer is the gift of a good home delivery service. Now that food delivery is more in demand than ever before due to coronavirus, it is an absolute must for restaurants to figure out a way to begin delivering if they aren’t already. But the fact of the matter is, most restaurants already offer delivery services to their customers. So, what can a restaurant really do in order to stand out from every other restaurant that delivers which will lead to customer satisfaction if it is such a common feature? Well, offering a delivery service goes way beyond just the act of transporting food.

The quality of the service offered is what matters. Is the food still hot when delivered? Did it take longer to reach the customer than anticipated? Was it packaged safely so that leaks and tampering are avoided? Was it sent packaged in an appealing manner so that the customer can enjoy the aesthetics of the restaurant or was the packaging used cheap or unappealing, contributing to the brand image of the restaurant? Was the delivery driver friendly? Was the payment method offered quick and easy, whether a well-functioning credit card machine or prompt exact change?

Offering a high-quality delivery service can hence lead to consumer satisfaction, resulting in even more orders for the restaurant. And now more than ever, given that Covid-19 has changed the way everyone eats, works, and lives now; food business’ “new normal” must include a good food delivery option to reach new potential customers and keep serving existing customers.

A reasonable and reliable solution to deliver food is by downloading Saylalala Restaurant App from either App Store for Apple devices or Play store for Android devices. Saylalala gives you access to their fleet of delivery drivers 24/7 and requests a delivery whenever you get a delivery order. You only pay for deliveries and you neither need to hire a full-time delivery driver nor pay commissions on the food bill. Visit www.saylalala.com for more information.