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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? 

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Authored and managed by Augustine, a hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has a 3-year diploma with 'honors' from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a Bachelor of Computer Application - BCA Degree.