The monthly online
magazine for all
catering professionals
Essentially Catering Magazine

Catering news - For this month's news - View magazine »

Survey uncovers customers' top restaurant nightmares

When running a restaurant, you might expect the main motivator for generating repeat business would be good food.  However, a survey conducted earlier this year has highlighted just how important it is for restaurateurs to get right a complete range of different influencing factors*.

The study found that staff and cleanliness are equally high on the agenda for all customers with 60 per cent reporting they would not return to a restaurant that was dirty or employed rude staff.  Respondents advised they felt the front of house areas provided an insight into the condition of the kitchen and, while they could sympathise with staff who were lacking in knowledge, an indifferent or off-hand approach to service was a top customer turn off.

Interestingly, long waits for food and drink was only ranked fourth in terms of importance, with customers more prepared to wait if their meal tasted great and was served by friendly staff. Loos also proved important with 15 per cent of respondents unlikely to return to an establishment with unclean toilets.

The survey also highlighted that while competitive pricing was an important factor, money-off promotions had a minimal effect on encouraging repeat business.

“This study has highlighted the range and variety of factors that can influence any diner and the opportunities that can be capitalised on to generate repeat business,” says Sally Whelan, director of The Mystery Dining Company. The company offers mystery guest and mystery dining services for the hospitality sector that can be used to monitor and highlight areas for improvement such as staff training, menus, general service and complaints handling.  For more information phone 01225 470281 or visit

*Survey carried out by The Mystery Dining Company in March 2008

Your feedback is important to us – please comment any time. Leave feedback »

Previous issues - For latest news & articles view this month's magazine »

Inside this issue

Sign up for more

Sign up today and get Essentially
Catering Magazine delivered every
month to your inbox.

You’ll also get:

  • Weekly news updates
  • Exclusive catering product offers
Sign up »
Advertisement BB Foodservice
Follow Essentially Catering Magazine on Twitter

Essentially Catering @MagazineEC 19 MAY

RT @ChefGruel: When the shutdown ends, I’m inviting everyone who retweets this to my chicken concept Two Birds. Double birds on me. https:/…

Essentially Catering @MagazineEC 28 APR

NEWS!! After 13 years EC magazine is closing on the 30th April, it’s a decision from the top, nothing to do with CO…

Follow Essentially Catering Magazine on Facebook

Article Archive

Mental Health

Christmas may be heralded as a time for customers to be jolly and let their hair down, but the extra pressure on hospitality workers can take its toll. This year has witnessed an unprecedented amount of media attention being given to mental health. Read more >


Back in the day, the availability of cocktails out of home was very much limited to eponymous bars where your drinks were served by expert mixologists with a flair for spinning and twirling bottles as they created their offer. Read more >

View previous articles > 191
Advertisement Cooking oil offer