Improve customer satisfaction in the restaurant industry with feedback

You know restaurant guest satisfaction is important. After all, if you get just 5% of your guests to keep coming back, then you can have an increase in profits of up to 25%. Plus, repeat diners spend 67% more than new guests (1). Start thinking about the customer satisfaction meaning as customer retention and ultimately, revenue. But how do you know guests are satisfied? Utilise a restaurant satisfaction questionnaire and online reviews to get feedback on how to improve your eatery. Don’t underestimate the customer knowledge you can acquire from a restaurant satisfaction survey.

Collect feedback: Restaurant satisfaction questionnaire

Restaurants only see 14% of all complaints (2). The rest go to online review platforms like Yelp or Google, social media or aren’t even voiced at all. That’s not good.

It’s essential to ask guests how they’re doing during and/or immediately after their meal. And contrary to your fears, 75% of guests are willing to answer a 1-5 question survey (3). 

A restaurant satisfaction survey does 4 things:

  1. By asking for feedback, you’re showing the guest you care about their experience.
  2. It gives you the chance to fix a problem & know how to avoid it in the future.
  3. You can collect guest insights to improve guest satisfaction.
  4. It lets you monitor service & satisfaction among locations, servers, or times of day. 

Consider these restaurant customer satisfaction survey questions

  • How would you rate our _____ (service, food quality, atmosphere, price)? Monitor competitive topics.
  • Tell us, how would you describe your overall experience? Get qualitative feedback.
  • How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague? Measure NPS.
  • Would you like to subscribe to our restaurant newsletter? Engage for loyalty!

Use your restaurant customer satisfaction survey to monitor topics that matter most to your establishment. Do customers feel like they’re paying the right amount for the quality of your food? How’s your staff treating customers? Get your free downloadable Voice of the Customer Survey Kit for templates to target the topics that matter most to you.  

Additionally, if you own more than one restaurant, it’s important to monitor your customer satisfaction scores. Consider using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) question in your survey. 

Notice how this restaurant satisfaction survey included the net promoter score question.

NPS is a customer satisfaction KPI you can use to ensure your restaurants are delivering the same excellent customer experience. Check out How to measure customer satisfaction: Methods and tips for more on NPS.

Make use of online feedback: Hello reviews

In addition to a restaurant satisfaction survey, include reviews in your guest satisfaction strategy. Now we all know, people are often brutally honest in online reviews, but turn it to your advantage and learn from them. 

We recommend getting a Voice of the Customer solution that provides you with semantic analysis to dive deeper into the meaning behind customers’ words. You can see how they feel about certain topics related to your restaurant.

Another reason to pay attention to online reviews? Statistically speaking, they have a huge impact on future visitors.

Consumers read restaurant reviews more than any other industry, and 90% of us actually decide on a restaurant based on online reviews (4).

So not only should your restaurant have many reviews and high ratings, you should be able to efficiently respond to reviews. Potential guests want to read that you care about the guest experience.

But that’s not all, 57% of potential diners go to a restaurant’s website before dining there (4). If that’s the case, then why not have reviews also on your website? This transparency goes a long way to build trust among potential guests.

Pay attention to reviews as they can bring in or repel potential guests.

Another tip—don’t wait and let your online reputation be filled with only negative reviews. Proactively ask happy diners to provide online reviews to grow your online presence on restaurant review sites and Google. Increase scores in satisfaction restaurant reviews and ratings as you Focus on customer feedback. Learn from your reviews and restaurant satisfaction questionnaire.

Then act on customer satisfaction factors

A study by Harvard Business School revealed that a one star increase on Yelp could increase a restaurant’s revenue by 9%. So yes, customer satisfaction in the restaurant industry matters big time. 

If you have the right customer satisfaction software, then you can get invaluable semantic analytics on customers’ qualitative feedback to understand how they really feel about their experience. Then you can know how to optimise the guest experience.

Consider monitoring these customer satisfaction factors:

Food: taste, waiting time, deliver on value

Venue: clean, lighting, covid-19 measures

Staff: attentive, knowledgeable, friendly

Menu: match customers’ expectations, allergy-free options, vegetarian/vegan options

In general, restaurants have a 30% customer retention rate, meaning that 70% of guests don’t return after their first visit (5). Invest in gathering guests’ feedback on how to improve to increase your customer satisfaction and loyalty. Earn their loyalty from their first visit.

Looking for further proof on customer satisfaction? Check out Why customer satisfaction is important: A guide for businesses. Remember, if your restaurant doesn’t ask guests what makes them happy, you won’t know how to satisfy them, and someone else will. 

So, it’s time to be proactive and get your guests’ feedback. 


  1. Food & Beverage Magazine. Restaurant Customer Service Stats/Tips from Jay Baer
  2. G2 Learn Hub. 51 Customer Review Statistics to make you rethink using them
  3. Upserve: 50+ Restaurant Industry Statistics Restaurateurs Should Know in 2021
  4. PR Newswire. 6 Critical Stats for Customer Loyalty