A How-To Guide for Handling Guest Complaints

Posted on: June 8, 2017 by RMS Hospitality

Guest complaints might make even the most experienced manager nervous, but they don’t have to be perceived negatively. In fact, if customers take the time to notify management about a less-than-stellar experience they had, chances are they like the establishment enough to give your clients the opportunity to repair the situation. Therefore, in addition to protecting your client’s entire operation with a comprehensive Restaurant Insurance Program, share the following advice with them to effectively and promptly handle customer complaints.

A simple, yet effective way to respond to complaints is with the STARS program.

  • Sorry – Apologize and acknowledge the customer’s frustration, but don’t point any fingers.
  • Thank them – The first step in mitigating any problem is becoming aware of it, so thank the customer for reaching out.
  • Act – Act quickly to fulfill the customer’s request. This could mean remaking their meal or finding them a different table.
  • Recover – To get in the customer’s good graces, offer a free dessert, a complimentary drink, or something similar. This is important to mend the relationship again.
  • Share – Notify your employees of the issue and ensure everyone is on the same page regarding how to handle similar situations in the future.

Addressing online complaints.

The National Restaurant Association states that given the power of social media, it’s more crucial than ever to quickly resolve any issues. “Even the quietest guest can reach hundreds or thousands of others within seconds,” says Gabe Hosler, director of training and operations for Rubio’s, a Carlsbad, California-based fast-casual restaurant with 190 locations. “It’s so important that you satisfy your guest.”

Should a customer leave a negative review on Yelp, your clients have the opportunity to win them over by addressing them directly. Using the same method as above, coordinate a plan of action to address their concerns, validate the customer, and provide a solution to their negative experience.


About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, we strive to provide the proper protections for your clients and their restaurants. From liquor liability to property protection, our specialized coverages can be custom-tailored for their unique needs. For more information, contact us today at (516) 742-8585.

Posted in: blog Restaurant Insurance