NEW RESEARCH: Most common complaint made against pubs and restaurants revealed

Slow service and rude staff are the main drivers behind disgruntled customers leaving negative reviews when visiting pubs, bars, restaurants and casual dining restaurants, it has been claimed.  

Research undertaken by online reputation specialist Feed it Back shows that the principal complaint amongst restaurant customers was ‘speed of service’, with 20% of negative feedback relating to slow food service or long wait times.

Most complaints cited time elapsing between being served starters and the main course, and seeing other customers, who ordered food after them, receive it before them.

For pubs and bars, the most common criticism was food quality, with 19% of customers disappointed with how their meal tasted.

The statistics revealed that poorly executed simple, traditional dishes, such as chips and a roast dinner, were the prominent drivers in negative reviews.

While interactions with staff drove complaints for both sectors, restaurant-goers placed greater weight on their servers with six out of the top ten complaints being related to the efficiency, engagement and attitude of wait staff.

Meanwhile, pub and bar diners’ grievances focused more on the venue and its surroundings, with more than 20% of complaints referencing ‘atmosphere’, access to an ‘outside space’, ‘cleanliness’ and ‘value for money’ as chief bugbears.

Carlo Platia, CEO of Feed It Back, said: “Looking at these statistics, it might seem obvious that slow service is a key driver in negative reviews, but the really interesting part is when you dig down into the granular detail of the data and find out that it’s actually the wait time between the starter and the main course that is frustrating customers. With this richness of insight, you have the tangible information you need to improve your customer experience.

“In the current competitive environment, all brands have to look forward and innovate to stay relevant – standing still simply isn’t an option. The brands that will win the fight for market share over the next five years, will be the ones who truly listen to their customer and utilise all the data at their disposal to drive their customer experience.”

Feed It Back analysed tens of thousands of reviews written across platforms such as Facebook, Google and TripAdvisor since the start of the year, along with bespoke at-the-table feedback.

The company boasts a range of clients including Loungers, Bistrot Pierre, Las Iguanas, Dirty Martini, Brains, Hippo Inns and Be at One.

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