Restaurant Manager Don’ts – Part 1
There are so many articles online telling you what you should be doing as a restaurant manager but so few telling you what you shouldn’t do. A lot of these are common sense but can be forgotten in the heat of the moment.
- Ignore Customer Complaints
If a customer goes to the trouble of letting you know they’re not happy then you need to go to the trouble of making them happy. You should apologize for whatever the issue is and then consider either comping the meal or offering coupons for a future visit.
- Not Offering an Opportunity for Feedback
It isn’t always possible to visit every single table during the night and, hopefully, each table would see at least 2 different sets of customers during the night. Add a comments card into each bill folder to give customers the opportunity to let you know what you’re doing right and what needs improvement. This increases the chances of receiving feedback from the customer and making any necessary improvements. If you don’t offer them an opportunity in the restaurant, they could take to social media and causing damage for your restaurant.
- Telling a Customer They're Wrong
You are going to come across at least one customer with a completely ridiculous complaint. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous the complaint is, you need to take it seriously and do your best to address the complaint in a manner that satisfies all parties.
- Ignore Social Media
Even if you don’t have a page setup on Facebook, you do need to be checking Facebook to find out what customers are saying about you and making the relevant improvements. An extremely popular group on Facebook for restaurant reviews is “Durban Restaurants - The good, the bad and the nastyyyy!” Also remember to check websites like Zomato or Eat Out for customer reviews.
- Argue with Customers Online
Social media is an excellent platform for engaging with customers. If you’re only using social media to insult and argue with customers, potential customers are not going to have a good impression of your establishment and most likely won’t visit. Dealing with customers respectfully and tactfully will display your establishment in a much more positive light.
- Be a Stickler for the Rules
Rules are important in any environment but there are also times when the rules do need to be bent. It can be in the best interests of the restaurant to bend the rules for a customer to make them happy so long as it is not too much of an inconvenience or compromise of your brand.
The above are just a few things you shouldn’t be doing as a restaurant manager. As the industry continues to grow and evolve so does the list of thing you should and shouldn’t be doing. Most often, if you step back and take a breath then common sense will prevail.