“Just one unpleasant experience is enough for your restaurant customers to choose another restaurant”. This sentence is what we see at the beginning of one of the scientific-research papers of Future Business journal. In this post, the effective reasons for customers to return to restaurants are studied!
Now, have you ever asked about the reasons that make customers return to your restaurant or not? Do you know how satisfied your customers are with your restaurant and services? Or are you at all aware of the process of conducting restaurant and café customer surveys?
If your answer to these questions is no, then it is time to interact with your customers and receive their feedback.
In this post, we introduce the restaurant and café survey process, efficient questions in this area and how to improve and ask them.
This is Porsline and the post you are reading is taken from reliable sources and articles in the field of restaurant management.
What is the restaurant and café customer survey and what are the goals it seeks to achieve?
One of the most important ways to professionally manage a restaurant or café is to achieve customer satisfaction and know their opinions and needs. One of the smartest ways to discover the needs, interests, and tastes of a restaurant or café’s customers and to conduct a successful marketing study for a restaurant or café is to carry out a customer satisfaction assessment survey or questionnaire.
In the past, distributing the restaurant menu or sending a person dressed as a doll to the door of the restaurant was a part of the restaurant’s marketing and advertising process. But today, restaurant and café managers know that such actions are no longer effective.
These days, accurate survey and market study have become an integral part of the process of attracting customers and launching a successful restaurant.
Your customers come to your restaurant to try your food either by chance or because they might have heard about you from their friends. However, do you let them leave the restaurant without getting their feedback? Or do you communicate with them to find a way to get them order food from your restaurant and to better understand their needs through some meaningful questions?
In fact, surveys are designed with different goals, such as improving service quality, identifying the audience or testing a product.
As a restaurant manager or a café marketing manager, you have to determine the goals of your surveys and then start designing and preparing an appropriate survey. In fact, you have to know what responses or information you are seeking and ask the best questions accordingly (sounds logical, doesn’t it?).
A restaurant and café customer survey is usually conducted for one of the following goals:
- Measuring customer satisfaction with the services received, such as food quality, prices, the general atmosphere, or the way of delivering and packaging food.
- Getting to know the customers and discovering the methods of attracting and retaining them.
- Collecting demographic information such as mobile numbers and identifying methods of communicating with customers (this information is very effective in the next stages of marketing and for communicating with customers.)
- Receiving customer feedback for adding new foods or services or opening a new restaurant or café.
What to ask in restaurant and café survey?
Asking appropriate questions related to your goal is one of the key factors in the success of your surveying.
The type of information received, the accuracy of the responses and even the participation rate in the survey depend on your questions. Therefore, try to correctly ask the questions in order to get the right results.
If you don’t know what the best questions are for a restaurant and café customer survey, use Porsline survey templates. In these templates, we provide you with all the questions needed to evaluate customers satisfaction. Just start creating your survey using these templates and the other features of Porsline. You can know all about Porsline features on the page online survey maker.
The most common restaurant and café customer survey questions
General satisfaction measurement questions: By asking questions such as:
- In general, how satisfied are you with the food and service of our restaurant/café?
- Will you visit our restaurant/café to eat/drink?
- Would you recommend our restaurant to your friends?
- Do you have any suggestion or criticism for improving our service or food quality?
- Do you consider the working hours of the restaurant appropriate?
- How did you get to know our restaurant? (The answer to this question can help you understand in which areas you should increase your activity and in which areas and methods you have had good advertisements).
- Do you like to know about our discounts or special offers? (This is a question that can convince the customer to send his/her contact number or email).
You can easily and quickly get feedback and comments from customers, and in designing the survey. Try to use more multiple-choice questions to increase the response rates to your survey.
Questions related to satisfaction with quality: According to a study published in the Innovative Journal of Business and Management, food quality is the main factor in determining restaurant customer satisfaction. Therefore, it is clear that one of the main goals of restaurant and café surveys is to evaluate customer satisfaction with food and beverages quality.
The most commonly asked questions in this section are:
- How satisfied are you with the quality of the food?
- To what extent did you find the food healthy and fresh?
- Did you like our menu?
- How do you evaluate the diversity of food in our restaurant?
- In your opinion, what should be added to our restaurant menu?
- In your opinion, what is the best feature of our food?
- In which areas do you think the food could be improved?
- What kind of beverages are not on our menu?
- What kind of appetizers are not on our menu?
Questions related to restaurant staff, food delivery and support: It doesn’t matter whether you provide food online and deliver it to the customer, or you receive customers at your restaurant. In all cases, in your restaurant customer survey, you should include one or more questions concerning measuring customer satisfaction with the workers and employees.
Here are some questions you may ask:
- How do you evaluate the conduct of restaurant staff and workers?
- How did the restaurant delivery gut behave with you?
- Was the food delivered to you on time?
- What do you think about food packaging and serving dishes?
Demographic questions: Demographic questions are among the questions that you should ask in order to get to know your customers.
Demographic questions are questions that investigate the personality, livelihood, age, gender, income, purchasing power, needs, habits and behavioral patterns of customers. These questions are very helpful before starting a new restaurant, and they open the way for marketing and advertising programs.
In addition to helping you know who is ordering food from your restaurant, their ages and occupations, preferences and expectations, these questions provide you with a method for customer segmentation. When you know the purchasing power of the most of customers or what social network they are active on or even their ages, you will have better marketing and service.
Here are some of the best demographic questions for customer surveys:
- Please mention how old you are?
- What is your job?
- How many times a week do you go to a restaurant?
- How many times a week do you order food online?
- How do you usually choose your restaurant or café?
- On which social networks are you most active?
- What makes you order food from a restaurant online?
- What method do you use to order food online?
You can see a sample of these types of questions in the image below.
Note: In addition to these questions, ask the customer to share with you his/her mobile number, email or contact information. After that, you can encourage him/her to order food or provide a basis for establishing your customer club through special offers and discounts! It is a smart move that can put you one step ahead of your competitors.
Questions related to the general atmosphere or location of the restaurant: Many times, customers refuse to visit a restaurant because of an unfavorable experience they had with its environment and general atmosphere.
Things like a restaurant’s proximity to public transportation, interior design, space size, cleanliness, serving silverware, light and music (or even restaurant and café restrooms), all affect the customer satisfaction and feeling.
The reason is also clear, for is it possible to forget a fresh-smelling and quiet restaurant located at a major crossroads of the city with bright windows and colorful curtains? The atmosphere is one of the most memorable parts of any restaurant. So make sure to ask questions about the atmosphere of your restaurant or cafe.
Here are some practical questions to use in the restaurant and café customer survey template:
- What do you think about the atmosphere and interior design of the restaurant?
- How convenient is the location of the restaurant?
- Are you satisfied with the cleanliness and hygiene of the restaurant?
- How would you rate the quietness of the restaurant?
- In your opinion, how can we improve the atmosphere and service in the restaurant?
- Were the restaurant tables and chairs comfortable?
Price-related questions: Customer satisfaction with the price of a service or product is closely related to his/her expectations and mental values. According to Richard Oliver, a researcher in the field of customer satisfaction, the difference between the customer’s expectations and his/her perception of the quality he/she receives causes him/her to be satisfied.
Let’s say you go to a restaurant in a luxurious and expensive neighborhood of the city. As soon as you arrive, you will be delighted by the large space and luxurious chandeliers of the restaurant. Then, you order your food from the restaurant’s perfect and varied menu. In such a situation, you will expect high prices and high quality of food and services. This is because your mind considers the price of food to be fair if you are satisfied with the received service.
However, if unhealthy and inappropriate food is served instead, you will consider the price unfair, and this will make you annoyed and dissatisfied.
Therefore, every restaurant and café owner should understand the customer’s expectations and conclusions about price and quality. This can be done by asking the appropriate questions.
The questions in this section include the following:
- How would you rate the pricing of food?
- What is the nutritional value of the food that was served to you?
- How would you rate the pricing of drinks?
How and in what way should we conduct the survey?
After you have designed your restaurant or café customer survey, you should determine the method or time to conduct this survey. In fact, you should deliver your survey to your customers in a way that garantees you the highest participation rate.
Conducting a survey at the restaurant
After serving the food and when issuing the invoice, ask your customers to participate in your survey. Explain to them that you need their feedback to improve the quality of your service. You must assure customers that their opinion is important to you in order to make them participate in your survey.
Conducting an online survey
Nowadays, the online space has provided a good opportunity to interact with the audience and customers of businesses, as you can reach a large number of actual or potential customers via your restaurant’s website or social networks. All you have to do is to share the survey on your pages after preparing it.
For example, add a web page to your site for customer satisfaction or create an online survey on Porsline and send the link to your customers.
Instead of conducting a complete restaurant and café customer survey all at once, you can even create a dedicated link for each of your questions and ask these questions to your customers at different time intervals. This can be associated with high interaction, especially through Instagram.
Conducting a survey before adding new dishes or launching a restaurant
If you have an idea to open a new restaurant or café with a special atmosphere or you want to change your food menu, it is better to design a questionnaire and a survey for your restaurant customers in order to evaluate the needs and investigate the market, i.e. to understand people’s interests, how they react to your idea, and what they like to be served in your restaurant or café.
You can collect all this information via a smart survey before establishing a restaurant or changing the menu.
Conducting a survey via SMS
If you have one of those restaurants or café s that take your customer’s mobile number when issuing an invoice, now you have a long list of customers’ mobile numbers.
By sending your restaurant and café customer survey with a discount code on orders, you will not only deliver your survey to the customer, but also encourage them to make further orders.
Furthermore, if you plan to send the survey to more people, you can send it to a large number of people with the help of SMS companies. But keep in mind that this only happens when you want to open a restaurant, not when you want to evaluate the satisfaction of your customers.
Finally, all you have to do is to build your survey for free using Porsline form builder and send the link to other people via SMS. (You can also send your survey link to different people or to your customers via messaging applications like Telegram).
Customer club and ongoing surveys
Many companies create customer clubs to retain their customers. The customer club helps you build a deep relationship with customers, give them special offers and discounts, and make them loyal and constant follower. In addition, through your customer club and relying on your communications, you can continuously develop and improve customer satisfaction measurement process, often through the “trial and error” method.
The most important templates of restaurant and café surveys
One of the most important surveys that we can offer you in order to evaluate a restaurant are the ready-made survey templates from Porsline, which are as follows:
Restaurant and Café Evaluation Survey: It is one of the restaurant customer satisfaction survey templates that is the key to transforming your café or restaurant into an ideal and customer-friendly environment. This way, you can get closer to achieving your management goals with only a simple online form.
Customer Satisfaction Survey Template: It helps conducting a quick survey about customers’ feedback on the company, a department, its products, etc. It is important in telling the customers that the company cares about them and seeks to progress and develop. Furthermore, customer satisfaction must be measured to improve quality and service.
Restaurant and Café Menu Template: Hotel restaurant and café menu template meets the needs of all restaurants and cafés, whether they operate as hotel cafés or separately.
How to increase the participation of your restaurant customers in the survey?
The level of participation in responding to your surveys depends on various factors. The time you approach your customers, how you interact with them, and even the type of questions you ask can affect the participation rate.
Eighty-one percent of customers say that if they know that their comments will be answered, they will definitely comment! This means that you are on the other side of the interaction and conversation table with your customer.
First of all, don’t ask too many questions
It is true that you need a lot of information to measure the satisfaction of your customers, but don’t force customers to stop responding by making the survey too long. Assess the current situation of your restaurant and choose a limited number of questions based on your needs and goals.
Moreover, instead of sending a long survey, you can design several surveys based on your goals. This way, each time you deal with only some factors affecting customer satisfaction. This means designing short and perhaps single-question surveys and get answers to your questions.
Ask briefly to be answered quickly
Speed is one of the characteristics of the new era. Make it easy and quick for the customer to answer your questions using opinion scale, rating/ranking and multiple-choice questions.
Avoid yes/no questions, as these questions give you little data and make the process of surveying boring.
Provide a gift or discount code in return for participation in filling out the survey
Your survey goals are not as important to the customer as they are to you. But who would say “no” to an attractive offer or special discount?
Give a discount code in return for participating in a restaurant and café customer survey to increase your response rate. You can also invite customers to participate in your survey by running contests and offering gifts.
Be creative and innovative
Creativity always attracts many people. Instead of using ready-made and repetitive questions, ask questions in an innovative way. Use photos and videos in your survey to make it more attractive. (You definitely know that all these features are available to you on Porsline!)
Get rid of paper surveys
When a customer can respond to your survey by just tapping on his mobile phone, why would you waste his/her time with paperwork? Make it easy to answer your questions by designing an online survey, thus making the process of reviewing the results simple and quick for you too. (The “Reports” section on Porsline presents the results of your surveys with high accuracy and organization).
Respond to customer comments
According to research, eighty-one percent of customers said that if they knew that their comments would be answered, they would definitely comment! This means that you are on the other side of the table interacting with your customer. When you expect a customer to share his/her opinion with you, give him/her the right to expect a response from you to his/her questions and feedbacks.
When you are not present on any channel and do not respond to customer questions and suggestions in any way, it is unlikely that people will participate in your restaurant and café customer survey. So, regularly respond to the comments and feedback received, and whenever a customer participates in the survey, send him/her a message of appreciation or a reply to his/her opinion.