Why Customers Are Not Coming Back to Your Restaurant

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2016

What You Need to Know About Repeat Business

In the restaurant industry, repeat business is what keeps you open. These customers will account for nearly 15% of your overall revenue and it is very important to keep them coming back time and time again.  The more customers you can get to become repeat customers, the higher revenue percentage you will make and you will see your profits continually increase.

On top of being great for your base revenue, repeat customers are also great free advertising because they will usually invite friends or family to dine with them and suddenly, you have new repeat customers. Repeat customers also tend to post their dining experiences on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter as well as Instagram where they can share great photos of your food or entertainment venue.

Keeping your diners happy is, of course, something that is going to be high on your list of priorities in the restaurant business. You will unfortunately have customers that will not be pleased, even when you feel that the service and food was perfect. If you are lucky, your unhappy customers will complain directly to you so you can hopefully rectify the situation and make them happy.

What you need to be aware of is that the majority of unhappy customers will never say anything at all and they are the ones you really need to be concerned about. They are the ones that will never return, never allow you to make amends so they can see just how great your restaurant really is and they are also the ones that will leave and tell everyone they know just how bad their experience was when they dined at your restaurant. Bad reviews will spread much faster than positive ones.

When you have unhappy customers, you need to sit back and take time to reflect on why they are not happy with your restaurant. There is, by the way, always a real reason as to why customers will walk away from a restaurant unhappy and never come back. These issues are things that you, as the restaurant owner, need to take care of before customers even walk through the front door.

Here are the top reasons that a customer will leave a restaurant unhappy:

Poor Service

Having bad customer service is akin to deadliness in the restaurant industry. Bad service can cause people to turn away and never return. It can also cause new customers to never walk through the doors because they will hear how poor the service is from others. There are thousands (millions actually) restaurants in the world and you need to make sure that the service you offer is better than everyone else.

It is your job as the restaurant owner to make sure your wait staff, host staff and other staff members that come into any contact with customers have been trained and know how to smile, greet customers, speak to customers and most importantly, make customers feel welcome and ensured that they matter to the business. The very success of your restaurant greatly depends on the level of service that you provide.

Bad Quality of Food

A restaurant requires quality when it comes to the food served to the public. No one is going to return to a restaurant if the food is bad tasting or poor quality. Wilted lettuce or other vegetables on a salad bar, dried up steaks or chicken or fruit that is not plump will turn people away. Even with outstanding service, bad food will keep people from coming back.

Food should always be served at the correct temperature and texture. Hot foods need to be hot and cold foods should always be cold. Temperatures that are wrong are not only something that will turn customers away, but they can also cause food poisoning that could result in the closure of the business. As the restaurant owner, the quality of your food is something you need to stay on top of at all times.



A clean restaurant puts people at ease and makes them want to sit down and eat. When people walk into a restaurant and see dirty tables or floors, many will turn around and walk out the door without ever giving the business a chance at all. It is very important to make sure the restaurant stays clean, even during the hustle and bustle of the busy lunch and dinner times.

The staff schedule be handled in a way that ensures enough team members are staffed to keep everything clean. Dishes piled up on tables or napkins and other mess laying on the floor is a great deterrence to people and can really ruin a business altogether. When your restaurant is clean, people will remember the food and service. When it is dirty, all they will remember is the mess and disorganization and no matter how great their waiter may have been, they will only remember the poor quality of the dining area.

Be sure to keep the dining area, restrooms and kitchen clean at all times. Busy times will happen hopefully, but being prepared and making sure everyone takes pride in keeping things clean will help the business maintain popularity and grow. 

Now that you have had a chance to see a few things that can deter a customer from returning, you should know that typically, up to 70% of the patrons of a restaurant will never return to that restaurant. As a business owner, it is up to you to show people why they need to return and starting with great service, high quality food and a clean place to eat is the perfect start top building repeat business and loyal customers.

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