These days, a dining establishment is more about the drink and food listed on the menu. The service as well as the interior design and seating layout also enter the equation. As an owner, you may be doing several things that are detrimental to your business without realizing. More often than not, customers won’t give you their feedback. Instead, they may not do as much business with you – or even worse – won’t visit your venue again affecting your revenue for the worse.
Restaurant Pet Peeves Guests Have That Can Be Avoided
Lack of Hospitality
The word "Hospitality" is derived from the same root word as "Hospital" and "Restaurant", a French word that originated from "Restore". Hence, the meaning of hospitality should be restorative services that minimally entail wait staff to use certain basic tactics to make sure that your guests dining experiences are more than just a meal. Not greeting guests leaves a bad impression for your business. Hospitality is about being welcoming towards visitors and making their presence feel appreciated. Not doing as such won’t be compensated by the good food they are served.
Clearing dishes before the customer is done eating
One of the biggest irritations that diners express at a restaurant is the waiter or waitress whisking away their plates and glasses when they aren’t quite empty yet. Even when the patrons are finished, its common courtesy for thee wait staff to ask permission to clear their tables. Taking plates without asking is like telling the customer that he/she has eaten too much. This habit certainly won’t encourage guests to leave a tip.
Dirty Bathrooms and Loud Music
This is a customer pet peeve that should not be ignored. It behooves all restaurant owners and managers to ensure the cleanliness of restrooms. The bathrooms should be fully equipped with toilet paper, paper towels, hand dryers, soap, and trash bins. The bathrooms should also be cleaned daily.
Playing music at a restaurant can help create a certain ambiance for patrons. With that being said, music that is too loud, inappropriate, or lacking in quality can ruin a positive dining experience among guests. Jazz, soft rock, or classical music is recommended in most instances.
Poor Maintenance and Crowded Dining Rooms
No dining establishment is immune to accidents. However, customers shouldn’t have to notice them. It’s crucial to upkeep your restaurant design. Leaving the carpets dirty, the floors sticky, or not mending peeling walls can be off-putting to customers. Sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping should be done regularly. Hiring a professional cleaning crew to polish tile floors should be a consideration as well. Paint the walls when necessary too.
Guests like to enjoy a good meal but they shouldn’t be required to sacrifice comfort while eating. When configuring a layout plan, it is the responsibility of the owner and manager to ensure that the seating capacity allows adequate space between tables. Cramped spaces can make diners feel overwhelmed making it difficult for them to have a positive dining experience.
When the Décor and Theme Don’t Match
The overuse of televisions and AV equipment is one pet peeve. When including them in the interior design process, they should work with the motif so that they blend easily into the environment you want to create. Mismatched color temperatures are another minor but an important detail.
Lighting is a crucial aspect, especially in small venues that operate at night. Unfortunately, not enough thought is put into it and customers can get a negative vibe. One thing to make certain is that the colors and the lighting work harmoniously together. Clashing cool colors together with warm colors stand out like a sore thumb. This mistake occurs a lot during construction but also happens a lot of time afterwards.
Another element is the theme of your restaurant. When curated, the space sings high praises. Even if you spent more than what you wanted on refurbishment or a new building, it can fall down to the last details because you haven’t put any effort into the theme. Ultimately, the space should keep up with the design but exude ample personality and warmth.
Damage control should be part of your objective as well. A space that is designed without consideration for staffing, efficiencies, or a sound business model can have a disastrous outcome, sometimes the one that is beyond repair. Customers typically like to be aware of their surroundings. When they have to ask, wait, or grow frustrated, your business can suffer. People tend to report a bad situation which gets noticed a whole lot more than a good experience. Minimizing the risk of unhappy customers should be your goal.