When you walk into a restaurant, it looks like clockwork. There are so many moving parts within the restaurant and the exceptional restaurants will make it look effortless. You get sat by the host, greeted by the server, you order, and then you get your food. Throughout your meal, most servers will ask you this one question that implies how your meal went.
“Was everything good here today/tonight folks?”
“How was everything today/tonight? Good?”
From the sound of it, the server is just checking in to see if they enjoyed their meal and their experience. It’s also a check in to make sure you needed another refill or something else to make your experience more enjoyable.
In more upscale restaurants, the manager on duty will even check in with every single table. They will continue to ask the same questions the server did. Most people will just nod in agreement and let their voice be unheard.
We are projecting what we desire the customer to experience onto them instead of opening the door for honest feedback. The interesting part is that the customer knows it too.
What if we, as restaurant professionals, changed the conversation to genuinely learn how we can improve? What if you could find exactly what the majority of your customers need and serve them in such a way they’d be raving about your restaurant?
Would you want more regular customers coming through your door? When your FOH team starts asking this question, you’ll start to get more frequent visitors. Even if they don’t visit super often, they’ll tell 5 people about your restaurant. [Word of mouth advertising is insanely powerful.]
[Get to eye level] “Hi folks! My name is __________ and I’m the manager on duty. I quickly wanted to stop by and get your feedback on what we could have done better tonight to improve our operations/establishment?”
Most of the time, they will only have amazing things to say about your team and your restaurant. But this also adds a level of accountability to ensure that your team is providing the guests with an extraordinary experience.
There will be some people that give you feedback you really can’t do anything with but just accept it with a “thank you” and be on your way. At least they got to voice their opinion and feel important.
Then there will be people with such valuable feedback that you couldn’t have even thought of. They normally won’t say anything unless they are invited to provide you with feedback. That’s where the gold is. Not only will you know where to improve (that may be an oversight), you have a customer that will believe they made a difference and they’ll want to come back time & time again.
Comment below and tell me how you get feedback from your customers? Do you use survey cards, a bucket system (good service / bad service), does your team ask this question above?