If you asked your loyal customers what they love about your restaurant, they’d probably have a long list of likes. But what about the customers who don’t like your restaurant? The ones who have a bad experience and never come back? Since you don’t have the chance to ask them what went wrong, read over this list of seven common restaurant turn offs. Are you guilty of any of these offenses? If so, you might be turning customers away!
1. Bad smells.
Customers want to smell delicious things coming from your kitchen. These are the smells that make them anticipate your food. However, they definitely don’t want to smell cleaning fluids, burned food, old fish, or your bathrooms.
2. Dirty bathrooms.
Speaking of bathrooms, they can be a major turn off if they’re not sparkling clean. Just think about it this way—if you can’t keep your bathrooms clean, why should your customers trust you to keep your kitchen clean? Few things will get a customer less in the mood to enjoy a meal than a visit to a filthy bathroom.
3. Too much (or not enough) seasoning.
No customers want to wait for dinner, only to find that it’s bland and under-seasoned when it finally arrives. And they certainly don’t want to eat a meal that’s so salty that it’s barely edible.
4. Rude or lazy servers.
Pay a quick visit to Yelp and look up any restaurant’s reviews. What do customers mention over and over again? Service. When a customer deals with a rude or lazy server, s/he doesn’t quickly forget about it. This is the kind of experience that leaves a bad taste in a customer’s mouth and causes him/her to never come back.
5. Over-attentive servers.
On the flip side, servers who are trying too hard can also be annoying to customers. Most customers don’t like servers who interrupt their conversations and try to get too involved. It can make them uncomfortable when they’re just trying to enjoy a meal with family or friends.
6. Cold food.
When customers are hungry, the last thing they want to deal with is room temperature soup or chilly French fries. They definitely don’t want to deal with the hassle of complaining and sending a meal back. A meal’s temperature can make or break a customer’s experience.
7. Volume problems.
When the music is so loud that customers can barely have a conversation without shouting, they probably won’t be able to enjoy themselves. But what about when it’s so silent that they feel like everyone in the restaurant can hear what they’re saying? That’s not exactly comfortable, either. You want your customers to feel relaxed, and the proper volume is an important way to control that.
As you read over this list, did you recognize anything? Are you guilty of any of these offenses? If so, don’t worry…just focus on changing them as soon as possible. You’ll give your customers fewer reasons to leave and more reasons to love your restaurant.