Is your restaurant performing well as you imagined? Should you consider measuring customer satisfaction. The article attempts to highlight the paradigm and applications for measuring customer satisfaction.
Mango Kurry is restaurant consultant in Mumbai India. We can help you to audit and develop a customer care program for your restaurant.
Measuring Customer Satisfaction
Restaurants offer a meal experience which consists of food, beverage, ambience and other intangible factors. In a sense the meal experience is the defining moment of quality of a restaurant as seen by guests.
Quality needs to be measured and what can be measured can be improved. Customer Satisfaction of the meal experience needs to be measured to be an indicator of quality.
But you might say, I do all the rights things…I have great food and world class ambience why do I need to waste my time on measurement.
Outputs do not equal Outcome or Customer Care does not lead to Customer Satisfaction.
The equation is as follows inputs lead to desired output which may lead to desired outcome. To illustrate this further, you have good quality ingredients, you make a good recipe and execute it well (these were inputs) and you have a dish tasting as good as you liked (output). The outcome you would like is a happy customers or satisfied customers. The truth is that may not be so. If many of your guests reject your perfect dish as not good enough then that is the truth, you would be well advised to go back to the drawing board.
Inability to verify the product before release
A second scenario, it may well be that on a good day the perfect dish ie everything goes to plan and guests genuinely love your signature dish. In hospitality, quite often its not possible to verify the quality of your product ie pasta, pizza before being given to your guests. By quality in this case refers to taste of food cannot be verified ie you do not taste every pizza that goes to the customer. Customer satisfaction measurement will validate the quality of your product.
Usefulness to measure customer satisfaction ?
1. Customer measurement will validate the quality of your operations. You will know that you are doing a good job or bad.
2. It is possible to correlate which attributes contribute to customer satisfaction , delight and dissatisfaction.
3. It will be possible to identify which factors are hygiene factors ie those factors whose absence will lead to dissatisfaction but who perform well will not lead to non satisfaction and dissatisfaction ie speed of billing, clean toilets. When you have late bill the guests are upset and when you bill is on time the customer is neither satisfied not dissatisfied.
4. Measurement generates a long term trend and reference point by which you can see how you are performing. Eg you measure the score on taste of food from Jan, feb , march etc. A dip in the score will indicate something is going wrong.
5. To measure customer satisfaction allows you to set goals for your team. A chef can be measured against taste scores, restaurant staff on service or ability to advise on the menu. You can set team scores like speed of service which includes production and service contribution. The quality of training will be reflected in the scores you get. The quality of housekeeping will be reflected if you ask customers about clean toilets.
6. A restaurants success is because of many factors coming together. In a sense some of the factors are not in the control of the restaurant manager. Poorly calibrated refrigerators may lead to staling of food which will impact taste which will impact customer satisfaction. Trainer may go through the motions of training but not recognising how effective the training has been. To measure customer satisfaction score reflects everyone cumulative contribution.
7. The customer satisfaction scores can be correlated with sales. I have found that poor scores will lead to fall in sales in two months time. This is may not be true for your restaurant.
8. To measure customer satisfaction can have double benefit of knowing more about your customers. You get their name and addresses of you use comment cards. You can get to know their preferences. All adding up to your marketing muscle.
9. Reality check for marketing. Some say business is marketing and a restaurant success depends on its effective marketing. To measure customer satisfaction scores allow the marketing team a reality check on what they are promoting. Poor scores on taste would warrant going back to the drawing board. Marketing may drive in the footfalls but the restaurants may not be geared to look after the people when the rush comes in.
10. To measure customer satisfaction can be related to other measures like availability of food items.