You may not realise it, but customer satisfaction surveys are a necessary tool to make your restaurant or coffee shop more profitable.

Measuring customer satisfaction should be one of your top priorities, if for no other reason than to remain competitive in a climate where demand for restaurant meals has remained relatively flat in South Africa and restaurant sales are lower than expected.

Read below for five reasons why restaurants and cafes, either fast service or full service, can greatly benefit from using in-person customer feedback surveys.

Customer satisfaction surveys at restaurants and cafes help prevent negative online reviews.

1. Avoid negative online reviews

One of the biggest bonuses to using customer feedback surveys at restaurants and cafes is the ability to mitigate negative online reviews on websites and social media. Websites like Hellopeter, Trip Advisor, Yelp and Twitter have become the default place for customers to vent about lousy service, cold coffee or bland food. But if you can get customers to express their frustration anonymously on a tablet survey before they leave your establishment they will be less likely to blast you publicly online.

2. Get honest feedback

Having a server ask “How was your experience today?” or “How did you like your meal?” won’t get you the honest answers you need to grow your business. Customers are often too shy to complain if their cashier was rude or their meal was drowning in oil. But if you can get your customers to complete a brief survey on their way out, while their experience is still fresh, they will be more inclined to give you negative feedback. And yes, you should learn to embrace negative feedback! It can be a powerful tool to make necessary changes to operation.

3. Increase sales with incentives

Research shows that offering customers a coupon or discount as an incentive to complete an in-person survey will get more of them to participate. However, as an added bonus, your restaurant or cafe can use surveys as an opportunity to introduce a loyalty programrestaurant, such as a coupon for a different time of week, to ensure repeat purchases.

4. Monitor quality

It should go without saying that one of the best ways to outdo your competitors is to find all flaws in your business and root them out. However, some flaws are not obvious to management or staff. No matter how sharp your team is there are things that only customers will notice. If you can get customers to tell you what those things are in surveys, you are ahead of the game.

5. Collect customer contact details

In addition to collecting feedback about the quality of your service, food and operations, customer feedback surveys can be used to capture customer email addresses for further marketing promotions. One of the final questions in a brief five question survey could be “Please enter your email address to receive discounts and promotional offers.”

If you want to get in the moment customer feedback, but don’t know how to get started, please contact us on or call us on 011 367 0608