Anthony Dexmier

Anthony likes helping people reach their true potential. Being the victim of his own fears and insecurities in his own business, he has decided to help others create more opportunities.

Businesses thrive on their ability to keep clients satisfied. Even with the best marketing in the world, people will know if you can’t delight your customers. Restaurants are no exception. And in the age of Trip Advisor and social media, words travel even faster. While in the past, some well located restaurants could make ends meet despite an average customer experience, no one can pretend anymore. Customer satisfaction must be a priority. Here is how you can make sure your customers leave with a smile on their face, and tell people about it.

Measure customer satisfaction relentlessly

Technology mentioned in the video: Customer Thermometer

Your waiters are not omniscient. Unless you and your staff manage to get feedback from your customers, you can’t know if you really hit the mark. Because customer satisfaction depends on many factors such as demographic, price, service, layout, etc, surveys have become essential. Not only do they help you know what your customers think of you, but also why.

Thankfully, restaurants can now rely on several tools to measure customer satisfaction. Companies like Customer Thermometer provide you with tablets available for customers to use and fill out a survey. CRT has a varied survey system with a kiosk you can rent from them. This is similar to what you can find in airports.  And if you think a kiosk is an unnecessary waste of space, you can use the store support app on your waiters’ tablets or smartphones. Your staff can invite your customers to fill out the survey as they sip their coffee. For more measuring tools, see the additional resources section.

By measuring customer satisfaction, you and your staff are no longer walking in the dark and trying to figure things out. You no longer have to wait for a review on Trip Advisor to know what your customers thought of their experience. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to internet reviews, but surveying your customers allows you to be one step ahead. You have an immediate way to know if you’re doing things right, or if you need to make some changes. It also helps you know if the changes you make are received positively.

Using feedback positively


You can’t please everyone. Some restaurant owners actually choose not to measure their customers’ satisfaction for fear of disappoint results. Still, it’s always better to know the truth. At least you have clear steps ahead. Besides, it’s much better to find a bad survey, than an angry review on the internet.

Once you put your pride aside, you can use any feedback positively. There is no need to panic if a minority of customers complain about a restaurant policy that benefits the majority. If, however, you are not attracting the right demographic, it may just be a marketing problem.

If the negative feedback is about essential elements like cleanliness or service quality, then the road ahead is clear. Attention to detail is what makes the difference between a full restaurant, and empty chairs at empty tables. Either way, be thankful for any feedback because it’s always an opportunity to improve.

Encouraging customers to fill out surveys


While it’s essential for a business to get feedback from its customers, it’s not the most enjoyable process for them. Some people are lavish in their criticism, but most people don’t jump on the survey to fill it out. That’s why it’s a good idea to ethically bribe your customers to fill out a survey.

Something simple like offering 20% off their next bill will give customers the incentive to fill out the survey, and come back again. Since most technologies available require an investment, you want to make the most of it. If you only take surveys from people who are willing to be polled, you won’t get a representative feedback. You must make sure most of your customers express their opinion.
If you’re worried about the cost of surveying your customers, consider that an investment into the future of your business. You can only get better if you know what to improve on. As customer feedback can allow you to measure both the efficiency of your marketing, and customer experience, it’s a guaranteed way to fill those seats.


Outstanding restaurants are extremely good at marketing to the right people, and providing these people with everything they want. By using technology to survey your customers, you can get much better at both these things. As most restaurants are still reluctant from taking feedback, you can easily stand out by making good use of your customers’ opinions.

Additional resources:

None of the links provided in this article are affiliate links. You can trust that this article was a genuine attempt to help you make your business more prosperous.