Customer experiences influence a restaurant’s overall public perception. According to a restaurant market study performed by TripAdvisor, more than 90% of restaurant owners are actively trying to monitor the reputation of their restaurants, and 85% of US respondents feel their promotional efforts are not sufficient to grow their customer base.
Trying to develop a marketing strategy can be a self-defeating endeavour if one has no access to information about the strengths and weaknesses of their business. Restaurant surveys are an excellent option when it comes to judging customer satisfaction and many other factors that are crucial to a restaurant’s success.
Why do restaurants use surveys?
All kinds of restaurants, from bistros to all-you-can-eat buffets, share one main characteristic: It doesn’t matter what kind of food they offer, they are also offering their customers an experience.
Restaurant surveys are one of the key ways restaurant owners can analyze and judge the quality of the customer experience they are offering. They highlight recurring issues with restaurant operations as well as areas of improvement.
Types of restaurant survey questions
There are many aspects to cover when making a customer feedback survey for a restaurant business. Key themes to consider are the quality of food, the services offered by the restaurant staff, health and safety concerns, the dining environment, and the delivery and takeout processes.
Just as there are many themes to write questions about, there are diverse ways one can present those questions. Questions may be written to expect Yes/No answers or to ask for a rating on a scale, which can be numeric (from 1 to 5, for example) or based on statements where customers can agree, disagree, or remain neutral. Customers can also be provided with open-ended questions, where they have a space to fill as they see fit.
If you wish to have your information better cataloged from the get-go, you can adopt the use of multiple-choice questions. Using multiple-choice questions as part of your strategy will help you speed up the analysis process.
For example, when asking how often customers dine at your restaurant, you may wish to use the following answer options:
- First-time customer
- Once or twice a year
- Every three months
- At least once a month
The downside, however, is that multiple-choice questions don’t allow the customer to give as much information as open-ended questions do. The best course of action is to use the appropriate method depending on your restaurant survey questions.
Advantages of using an online restaurant survey
Information online can be transferred at high volumes for free.
A restaurant can send out thousands of online restaurant surveys and in turn gather and store thousands of responses for no cost at all, in contrast to the resources and manpower one would need in order to conduct physical surveys.
Online restaurant surveys are automatically sent, stored, and analyzed. This means that online surveys have a minimal margin of error. They don’t require physical manipulation for their analysis, which could lead to information being misread, surveys being misplaced, and other practical problems.
Ease of use
Both those inputting restaurant survey questions into the system and those answering said questions can benefit from the easy-to-navigate environment of online survey solutions.
The whole survey process can be drastically hastened by being performed online. Online solutions are faster to write and fill, and automation makes it so transferring, organizing, and analyzing surveys is an effortless and seamless activity.
Gather better insights
Rather than hastily filling out a sheet of paper right before leaving the restaurant, online surveys allow customers to fill them out in their own time. This gives customers the time to think their answers through.
Higher response rate
There is no rush to fill out an online survey, and it can be filled from a customer’s mobile phone. These two aspects make restaurant surveys much more enjoyable, prompting more customers to fill them.
It is sometimes the case that dissatisfied customers wish to vent their frustrations, and they will use any communication method they have at hand to do so. Online surveys give customers a place to share their negative opinions and prevent them from spreading harmful statements about your restaurant in other places.
Example of restaurant survey questions to ask your customers
Do you dine at our restaurant frequently?
This is an excellent question to start with since it will allow you to assess how familiar the person who filled the customer survey is with your restaurant. A first-time customer may have a very different perspective about your restaurant than your most loyal customers. Knowing how often they engage with your restaurant will let you categorize them to better understand patterns in customer feedback.
What is your opinion on our food?
Food quality is essential for the success of any restaurant. Even if you have the best presentation and delivery infrastructure in the world, poor food quality will have a drastically negative impact on customer satisfaction. Gaining valuable insights on what customers enjoy the most from your menu can help your marketing strategy, while negative feedback will let you know in what ways you can improve the quality of food items on your menu.
What rating would you give our reservation process?
The first interaction a customer may have with your restaurant is by making a reservation. If the task of making a reservation at your restaurant is not properly streamlined then your customer will arrive with a bad first impression, which may have an impact on their overall restaurant experience.
What rating would you give our ordering process?
Your ordering process is one of the main ways your customers engage with your restaurant and it may be their first interaction with your restaurant or your delivery service. User-friendly, sleek interfaces and flexible payment options are therefore a must when it comes to your online ordering system.
To help restaurant owners open a new revenue stream and increase their conversion rate, UEAT designs a website and a white-label mobile app tailored to each client’s brand. Whether your customers prefer using your website or mobile app, all of your data and performance analytics is centralized in one place with UEAT’s online ordering platform. Plus, you have access to smart marketing tools, a delivery ecosystem, an artificial intelligence module as well as access to contactless ordering solutions.
What rating would you give our service?
The performance of restaurant staff can make or break a customer’s dining experience, and that may be reflected in restaurant surveys. Information on how the guest experience is influenced by service can help restaurant owners know if their employees require further training or if the restaurant is short-staffed.
Were your sanitation and hygiene standards met by our restaurant?
Keeping good health and safety standards is extremely important for a restaurant. This has only been magnified in recent years, as the response to the covid-19 pandemic called for higher standards of sanitation. Strict health standards will guarantee customers that your restaurant is not only clean but also safe.
How did you first learn about our restaurant?
From loyal customers giving recommendations to social media ad campaigns, there are many ways people might discover your restaurant. You can judge the failure or success of your advertising efforts by gathering data on how your customers find out about your restaurant. You can improve your restaurant’s marketing strategy by knowing where the people who enjoy your food the most come from.
Would you give our restaurant a recommendation?
This is a good question for customers to form an overall opinion of your restaurant experience. It is easy for dissatisfied customers to stand out in your results as they are the ones who wouldn’t recommend your restaurant to anyone. If most customers in your response rate claim they wouldn’t recommend your restaurant, then some drastic changes may be required to grow your customer base.
Would you change something about your dining experience?
Open-ended questions such as this one allow customers to relay the information on any particular aspect of their restaurant experience. Restaurant survey questions can inquire about the quality of food, restaurant staff, and health and safety standards, but there might be a blind spot disregarded by the administration that a customer may have noticed.
For instance, a customer who is a restaurant patron may have noticed some extra waste you could avoid and share some advice. Moreover, customers will appreciate having their opinions heard and put into consideration.
Was anything missing from the restaurant menu?
This is one of the most important questions because it will let you judge what expectations customers have of their restaurant experience. Some customers may feel limited by the lack of menu options, as they may have expected menu items that cater to children or specific dietary restrictions (vegan, kosher, dairy-free, etc.). This is also a good way to get new ideas for menu items.
Asking your customers about their experience with the menu can give you more than food-related insights. If you wish to improve your restaurant’s online presence, including how your menu looks online, you should request a platform demo of UEAT’s online ordering system to discover all the customization possibilities.
How do restaurants optimize online surveys to capitalize on customer feedback?
Restaurant surveys can take advantage of the diverse perks of the automation process, providing a restaurant with a steady flow of information so they can see how their business develops in real-time. This process can create a streamlined environment where information can be transferred and viewed quickly.
What to do with all this feedback
As you know, in our day and age, data is the new gold. Valuable insights gathered from customer feedback can be used to understand the opinions and needs of your customers in order to personalize the customer experience and boost your revenues. This data can help you customize offers and discounts, optimize your loyalty program, fine-tune the strategy of your marketing efforts, improve customer service, and much more.