Handling Guest Complaints and Problems in a Restaurant / Coffee Shop

Approach the guest and ask politely if there is a problem:

  • Excuse me, may I help you Mr. Samuel? (Listen with concern and empathy).

  • Stay calm. And never argue with the guest.

  • Be aware of the guest's self-esteem. Show a personal interest in the problem, Try to use the guest name frequently.

  • Tell the guest what can be the best done. Offer choices. Don't promise the impossible, and don't exceed your authority.

  • Set an approximate time for completion of corrective actions. Be specific, but do not underestimate the amount of time it will take to resolve the problem.

  • Monitor the progress of the corrective action done to resolve the guest complaint.

  • Follow up. Even if the complaint was resolved by someone else, Contact the guest to ensure that the problem was resolved satisfactory.

  • Restaurant staff should take corrective actions without any hesitation.

Apologizing  and taking action as per issue:

  • I’m so sorry (about this), Mr. Samuel.

  • I’m terribly sorry (about this).

  • Please accept (our / my) sincere apologies, Mrs. David. 

For Complaints about the food:

  • Shall I bring you another Juice ?

  • I’ll bring you another one right away.

  • I’ll change it right away.

  • I’ll speak to the chef, and see what we can do.

  • Would you like your steak  cooked a little more?

  • Would you like to order something else instead?

  • I’ll have the kitchen prepare another one. Would you like some wine while you are waiting?

About the service:

  • I’ll attend to it right away.  / I’ll look into the matter at once.

  • I’ll see about your order right away. 

  • Excuse me,  Mr. Bernard. It will be about another (15) minutes for your chicken soup to get ready. 

  • Your food will be ready in about (15) minutes. (Apologize if there has been a delay.) Thank you for your patience.

About the air-conditioning:

  • I’ll turn the air-conditioning (down / up / off).

  • Would you like to move to a warmer place / table?

About the table:

  • I’m afraid all the tables (near the pool / lake view area) are already taken. I’ll let you know as soon as when one is free.

  • I’m sorry, but the restaurant is very full at the moment. This is the only table I can offer you.

Spillages and Breakages:

  • Let me help you, Mr. Wilson.  / Allow me, Mr. David.

  • I’ll fetch you a (towel / some water).

  • I do apologize for the accident, Mr. Langer. May I have it dry cleaned for you? 

Since 2012 Setupmyhotel.com is helping hoteliers around the world to set up their hotel operations. Get sample Stationery, Formats, Hotel SOP's, Staff Training Tips, Job Descriptions and more. See you around and happy Hoteliering.


Subscribe to our new interactive newsletter. Don’t miss on any posts.

Subscribe Now!
We do not spam!