One poor dining experience may be enough to turn customers away for good, but new research shows that there is a way to regain a customer’s trust following a bad dining experience.
A new survey from Original Review has revealed that restaurant goers greatly value their voices being heard when it comes to their dining experiences. This is crucial, because many indicated that they would give a restaurant a second chance if they feel their complaints are heard and acknowledged after a poor dining experience.
Additionally, the survey shows that restaurant goers are skeptical of restaurant review sites and favor a friend’s recommendation.
The online national survey polled 500 men and women, ages 21 and older, living within 20 miles of a major metropolitan area, who have used a restaurant review site at least once.
- Nearly 70% of consumers have a significant distrust of restaurant review sites; more than 50% of respondents were aware of scandals around fraudulent reviews
- 95% of respondents say they use review sites to search for new restaurants; over 70% of respondents are concerned if reviews are old or sparse
- More than 50% of consumers surveyed will not visit a restaurant if they see just 2-4 negative reviews and more than 75% of respondents want to see two to nine positive reviews before trying a new restaurant
- 8% of respondents only use a review site once in a while, however, 80% would use a review site if they knew reviews were posted from within the restaurant
- 905 of respondents would participate in using a fast and easy way to comment on their dining experience if they knew that management would see it
“The survey provides excellent insight as to what consumers expect from review sites, their dining experience and when things go wrong,” said Debra Lukacsko, Original Review co-founder and CEO. “Consumers will use a review site that they feel is trustworthy and are more than willing to provide feedback when it is easy to do so and they feel they are being heard.”
A poor dining experience can result in the loss of a customer: 92% of the respondents indicated that they have stopped visiting a restaurant because of one bad experience with food. For many respondents, the key to turning around a poor dining experience is feeling like their concerns are truly being heard:
- 71% of respondents have stopped visiting a restaurant because of one bad experience with service
- Almost all respondents (90%) say they would likely return to a restaurant where they had a bad experience with food or service if they had the ability to communicate directly with management and felt their concerns were taken seriously and there was an effort made to make it better
Other notable findings include:
- More than 84% of respondents appreciate it when restaurants reach out with specials and would give their email to receive special discounts and promotions
- Nearly 60% of respondents are very likely to return to a restaurant if they are offered a gift on their birthday or anniversary
- Appreciation is key: respondents agree (95%) that they feel more appreciated by a restaurant when they feel their feedback is taken seriously
“Most of the time when a diner has a bad experience at a restaurant, they leave and never come back. With the OR platform, owners and managers can get alerted immediately if customer feedback is negative and address any issues. From the survey, we know that addressing issues before a customer leaves unhappy is a big opportunity, as is the opportunity to gather emails and birthdays for promotions,” added Lukacsko.