Week 22 | Transcript

The text below is the transcript for the above video. You can find the full post here Handling Restaurant Complaints.

Hello and welcome to this week 30 minutes restaurant marketing, this week I will go through Handling Restaurant Complaints.

We all need to deal with complaints no matter how well we serve and cook. It is just part of the restaurant business, and the key is in handling it in way that you will transform the complainers into frequent customers. For that you need to believe that restaurant complaints are not negative incidents, I have handled quite a few when I was a restaurants manager and many of them turn into positive and profitable incidents, as I was able several times to turn the angry customer into a regular customer of my restaurant.

Sounds difficult? Let me explain the technique that I used.

I used the STARS Complaint Technique. But before you apply it, you need to listen carefully to your unhappy customer to allow him or her to express the complaint without interruption. You need to show interest to what he is saying and if necessary, grab a piece of paper and pen and make notes of the complaint. This way you won’t forget the details and your customer visualizes that you are taking is complaint seriously and that he or she is being heard.

After this it is time to apply the STARS Technique. STARS stands for: Sorry; Thank you; Act; Recover & Share. So now lets' elaborate each one of these 5 steps:

After you listened carefully to the complaint, the first thing you need to do is to say sorry. No matter what happened, if the guest is right or wrong, we are always sorry that the customer is not happy or didn't get what he was expecting.

Then we need to thank the customer to let us know about what made him unhappy. It is always better that guest's talk to you when they are unhappy, than they go talk on the streets and social media and never come back to your restaurant. Because, when they complaint inside your restaurant you got two great opportunities: The first is you can identify things you need to improve in your restaurant, and the second is to create a relationship with the customer and make him feel special at your place.

After saying thank you you need to Act. Show the customer that you listened and are 100% committed to solve the problem fast. If the food was cold go heat it, if they didn't like what they ordered take it back and suggest something else from your menu, if it is taking too long go to the kitchen and talk to the Chef, etc… You need to show that you are there to solve the problem asap.

Now that you acknowledge and solved the problem, it is the time to recover your customer. You can do this by starting a nice conversation with him, offer him some special dessert, it is time to make sure that your customer leaves the restaurant happy, with a smile on his face.

After the customer leave your restaurant happy you need to Share the case with your team. So that everyone understands what made the client unhappy and avoid it in the future.

And that is it. First you listen carefully to the complaint, and then you use the STARS complaint technique to turn it into a positive incident.

Do you have other techniques in handling restaurant complaints? Share with us at comment box below!

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