You’re Missing the Point

I worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for over a decade. 


By Jared Lafitte

Now I run my own startup and constantly have to wine and dine prospects and clients. Because I not only understand the stress involved in the restaurant industry, but have also experienced many of the issues that arise, I tend to give restaurants the benefit of the doubt. I am generally patient and tip above beyond the customary 20%.

 However, now that I have to impress people with the dining experience, I have to be more sensitive to issues if the arise. I cannot afford to have a bad dining experience cost me a sale. With that, it is shocking to me how many quality restaurants lack service and experience that is in line with their food and pricing. 
Recently, I took a prospect to a seafood restaurant that was a bit higher in price than the restaurants in that area, however I truly needed to make a good impression on this team. There were 4 of us and I made sure to highlight that this was a work meeting when I called to reserve our table. Although the food was great, the experience as a whole was pretty brutal and left a sour taste in my guests mouth.

Despite my reservation, the restaurant was not ready for us upon arrival. Not a huge deal, we went to the bar and got some drinks and an app while we waited. When we finally did get to our table, I could tell our server was flustered. She looked rushed, fatigued and I could tell she was not 100% focused on us even while we talked with her. I will not go into great detail, however our server messed up our drink order, the food took exponentially too long to come to the table, our server was not responsive on keeping up with drink orders and refilling our waters, and for the most part we felt unserved. Finally, I asked our server to bring the check and it took her over 10 minutes to come back with it. 

 Finally she returned, took my card and closed us out. By no means was this a completely brutal experience, however when I am paying for and needing a 5-Star experience, this restaurant failed. 

I generally avoid leaving bad reviews, however I did want to let the restaurant know and also warn others to allocate ample time when eating there. I was happy to see the restaurant responded to my review, however the response did not address my issue and felt generic. They apologized for the lackluster experience and offered me a free appetizer next time I come. This is great, however they never addressed how they would actually improve the issues I raised. Throwing a free appetizer at me is fine, but if it is going to lead to another dinner with slow and poor service, I would rather avoid the restaurant all together.

I never did go back to that restaurant. 

In an effort to truly address the painpoints/issues people raise, I highly recommend any restaurant adopt into their customer engagement. By combining engagement and sentiment analysis, Mandy offers deep insights into what your customers are feeling and thinking. By highlighting what is working as well as the issues most pertinent to your employees, Mandy guides you to resolve these issues and bridge the communication gap.

Ultimately, Mandy leverages you with the information you need to best guide your restaurant. This new technology will not only increase your customer satisfaction, but also improve communication. 

I believe that Mandy would have guided them to properly addressing my issues/concerns and I would have given them another chance. However, because they so blatantly missed the point, I am not risking it. I hope they adopt Mandy so they can get a better pulse on what their customers are thinking. 

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