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The cost of bad service

Posted on 28th March 2011 in Insight
Written by: Fiona Rickard

Interesting article in Big Hospitality today about how bad service in restaurants remains the biggest gripe for UK diners and that it has led to 14% of consumers confessing that they have left without paying the bill.

According to a poll of 3,000 Brits by the shopping website, the one in seven who have done so cited poor customer service as the most frequent reason.  Currently the average British consumer dines out once a week so this it is a big problem for restaurant revenue.  And what can’t be quantified is the cost of losing that customer for life plus with the power of WOM* many of their friends and colleagues too at a ratio of 12 per disgruntled person.

The things consumers most disliked are inattentive or rude waiting staff, the automatic addition of service charge to a bill and having to pay for tap water. So restaurants take heed, get your food and experience offer right and invest in staff that are not only good at their job but also great ambassadors for your business.

*According to a study by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, 90 percent of unhappy customers will not do business with a company again. Each of these people is likely to share his or her grievance with at least nine other people, and 13 percent of these disgruntled customers will go on to tell more than 30 people of their negative experience.  This means that for every 100 disappointed consumers the negative WOM reach is 1,173.