Customer Service and Recovery for RestaurantsOn a warm summer night in August, a couple selects an upscale restaurant to celebrate their anniversary. They chose this restaurant because it offered alfresco dining, and a pleasant patio venue. They dined here once before.

They arrived around 6:30 reservation and were seated promptly. Ten minutes later, the waiter had yet to arrive at their table. The husband, now annoyed, clicks on his cell phone timer, and almost five more minutes pass. He finally flags down a waitress and asks if she can help. The waitress, apologizes for the confusion, takes their drink order and said she would find their waitress. A few minutes later she delivers two waters and said the waitress would bring the wine promptly.

The new waitress finally returns with two glasses of wine. She apologizes and says the hostess didn’t alert her that she had another table. She takes their order. About ten minutes later, bread and oil arrive at the table. At least 35 minutes elapsed before their bread arrived. As the couple looks around the patio, they can see it’s only half full, it’s not an especially busy Saturday night.

One would hope that the poor service could have been compensated by great food. But the couple thought the bouillabaisse was bland, and the the scallops were cool. The manager never dropped by the table, and no type of gesture, comp or consideration were offered for the poor service. The husband stopped to ask for the manager upon departure. But neither a hostess nor a manager could be found, the desk was deserted.

When he returned home, he wrote two scathing reviews, after all, he was the one who suggested this restaurant for the special occasion. One week later, he had not heard a word from the restaurant, and the couple wrote the restaurant off their list, unlikely to ever return.

Clearly this restaurant needs to develop a clear and actionable guest service response policy and implement a guest recovery system. This should be done immediately – before this negative feedback becomes an avalanche of bad reviews. They should contact the experts at ServiceCheck, and learn how to rapidly deploy an actionable customer service solution and guest recovery system. And they should do so before it is too late!

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