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Customer Service in Small Restaurant – Does It Matter

Customer service plays an important role in the growth of your restaurant, whether it is big or small. Besides the quality of food you serve, the service is one thing that every customer in your restaurant will remember. So when you are in the hospitality industry, gaining customer satisfaction through service should be your aim. Some may argue that people don’t really care about service in the age of fast food and quick bites. Perhaps that is also the reason why the quality of service in several restaurants is going south.

Customers satisfied with smaller restaurants, not with larger chains

You may think that the quality of service will be better at a bigger restaurant and larger chains than it is at a smaller eatery. The truth is on the contrary. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has recently released a report revealing that it is the smaller restaurants that most customers are happy with, while customer satisfaction at larger chains is deteriorating. More and more people are eating our more often these days, and they are also happy with the dining experience.

However, customer service at full service restaurants and larger chains has gone down as reflected in their ACSI scores, while smaller restaurants have gained.

Red Lobster most improved in customer service

Among the top full-service restaurants that have been rated by ACSI, Red Lobster is the only one that has gained in terms of customer satisfaction. Others like Applebee’s, Chili’s and Olive Garden restaurants have deteriorated. In the fast food lane, customer service got better at pizza chains, with Papa John’s being ranked at the top as the most improved pizza chain.

McDonalds was among the bottom most in the list of burger chains with a score of 73 out of 100. It lagged behind Wendy’s, which scored 78 and Subway, which got 82 for delivering fresh eating experience to its customers.

Between coffee shops, Dunkin Donuts fared better in terms of customer service with a score of 79, while Starbucks got 76 out of 100 on customer service. Also, the increasing price of Starbucks beverages and snacks is one of the main reasons for dampening customer satisfaction, according to ACSI.

Enhance customer service at your small restaurant

There are many eateries out there that your potential customer can choose from. Whether or not they choose you over the others depends on how you fare in terms of customer satisfaction, alongside quality food. Remember that people eat out not just for the food, but also for the experience. Offer them more than just good food – throw in some great customer service and you will have happy customers coming back to your small restaurant again and again.

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