[Part 2] What To Do When Customers Say “Your Restaurant Food Sucks!”

Every restaurant has their bad days. Sometimes the cook calls in sick, or you’re just unable to secure the right quality ingredients. However, if you receive a series of complaints on your food, then you can be sure that it just sucks. So, what do you do?

1. No Excuses For Customers

Your food sucking is not an excuse in the F&B industry. If you don’t do well, someone else will. This is why most hawker stalls are unable to have two chicken-rice stalls in one outlet. There is only so much garlic for the chilli, and one is bound to outshine the other.

Sometimes, this may be the issue. Perhaps your customers are comparing you to a similar outlet nearby? If so, find out what your competitors are doing that you are not. You probably can’t outdo them at their dish, but you can find a signature dish that people will remember you by. Stop sucking.

Whatever you do, do not to make up excuses when dealing with customer complaints. Even if it’s a brief explanation, try to avoid it. Acknowledge the complaint and make an apology. Customers want to know that they are heard above all else.

2. Improve Service [restrict]

If your food is up to a certain standard, you may want to look towards improving your customer service instead. Most people are unwilling to go to a restaurant with good food if the service is poor.

According to a survey by Eventbrite , most consumers prefer [restrict] spending money on experiences than material things. This indicates that customers value their satisfaction through memorable interactions. If you are unable to provide novelty or trendy items on your menu, you should look to engage your customers better with quality service. This means:

• Training your staff to be alert and communicative
• Ensuring that the line from your floor staff to your kitchen is efficient, so no orders are missed
• Asking your customers if they’ve enjoyed their meals
• Being attentive to customer feedback

There are always more ways to improve the quality of your service, but here’s a start. Furthermore, younger customers are more likely to read restaurant reviews before visiting your place. If your service is labelled as poor, you will be losing out on many potential customers.

3. Keep A Record of All Complaints

If your food sucks, you’re likely to get a whole lot of complaints. While it might demotivate you, it is important to keep a record of all customer complaints. When you do this, you will be able to comprehend where your weakest point is.

As time goes by, you can periodically assess any changes in complaints. From your records, you will be able to tell if progress has been made.

With food, you will also be able to tell if a certain item or dish is unpopular, and how you can improve upon it. The next time the dish is ordered, try asking your customers how they feel about it. Document their responses for future reference. This helps you determine the consistency of your food as well.


Taste is always subjective, but if bad reviews and complaints are aplenty, then you should be acting fast. In the restaurant business, being reactive is a crucial skill. You never know if a customer is being fussy or blunt. However, they are what keeps the business alive, so always take note of their input and act in their interest when necessary.

Actionable Takeaway:

Customer service expectations can vary from restaurant to restaurant, so take the time to make it clear how you expect it done in yours. Also take the time throughout training to ask your staff how they would answer a different question from a customer.


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