The Real Cost Of Bad Service


I’m lucky to eat out a lot. In the space of a week I could be chowing down on some bad pub grub, trying 
to remember which is the fish fork in a fine dining establishment and trying to eat cheesy pizza straight from the box. I think this puts me in a position to have an opinion on food in this country.

On the whole, it’s absolutely brilliant. Rare is the night out when the food served hasn’t been of the highest quality. It’s clear to me that restaurants up and down the country have upped their game from the dark days when the Berni Inn was the epitome of taste and sophistication.

But there are nights when eating out has left me wanting more (and I’m not talking about bigger portions). The food might have been brilliant but my experience has been lacking.

And that comes down to customer service.

As a country we might be at the pinnacle of achievement with our food. I’m not sure that is the case with our customer service.

All to often, great food is being let down by second rate or even downright terrible customer service.Now I don’t subscribe to the belief that FOH are letting chefs down by behaving badly. A good restaurant runs as a team, at every level.

So good customer service has to come from the top. From the owners and from the managers. Because if you don’t believe that customer service is as important as the food you serve then I’ve got a question for you?

How do you fancy LOSING £40,000? Devastated? Heartbroken? Ruined? Restaurants all over the country are losing money like this. Why? Because they’re failing to up their customer service game and failing to attract and retain regular and loyal customers. I’ve found a few facts and figures that might make you rethink your strategy towards customer service.

Restaurants can expect a loyal customer to visit 1.7 times per month

The average number of years a loyal customer will visit a restaurant is 2.7 years.
Now the maths here is easy. Your average couple spend, say £100 per visit, could be less, could be more, depending on the type of business you own. So they visit your restaurant 20 times per year. 20 x 100 = £2000 per year. £2000 over 2.7 years is £5400. It only takes 7 couples to not come back and you’ve lost nearly £40k. Every time a customer leaves your establishment and they’re not completely satisfied, you’ve just lost the potential
to earn a lot of money.But the real kicker to this is, EVERY customer who walks through your door is a potential loyal customer. There is a potential £5.5k each and every time a customer sits down to eat in your restaurant.

There’s also a potential £5.5k loss if you don’t make their experience great. So if you can make their whole experience in your restaurant GREAT; from the walk up, to the welcome, to the table, to the room, to the food, then you’ve probably just attracted a loyal customer who will keep coming back because your place is the best it can possibly be.



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