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What’s your biggest customer pet peeve?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Restaurants — tracks feedback from restaurant owners and managers about current trends and issues.

Last week’s poll question: What’s your biggest customer pet peeve?
When guests request dishes not on the menu — 10.42%
Picky eaters! Substituting ingredients isn’t always easy — 17.36%
Diners who idle for hours post-meal are annoying — 20.83%
Guests who miss or are late for reservations — 18.75%
I can’t list just one! — 32.64%

Is the customer always right? That may be the classic mantra, but it doesn’t mean that restaurant owners and chefs have to like it! One third of respondents in last week’s Restaurant SmartBrief poll couldn’t choose which annoying customer habits were worse. Customer concerns are clearly a top priority for Restaurant SmartBrief readers who made CNN/Eatocracy’s “Six Ways Customers Tick Off Chefs” the second-most-clicked-on summary of last week.

But customers aren’t the only ones irritating chefs. Sometimes aggravation appears within the kitchen itself.  Chef’s Blade rounds up the top 10 pet peeves of executive chefs, ranging from bad kitchen equipment to unmotivated staff to lazy food writers.

Meanwhile, customers are fighting back with their own lists of complaints. Bon Appétit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton, writing for Huffington Post, objects to uncleaned tables and servers who declare, “Everything on the menu is great.” There’s even a Facebook group for customers’ complaints: Restaurant Pet Peeves.

So what are your pet peeves as a business owner? What are your pet peeves as a diner? Do your own complaints about other restaurants’ service affect how you manage your restaurant?

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