Want to know how to fix a poorly performing restaurant site? Ask your customers!

5 min read
Apr 26, 2024 11:25:04 AM

Friends sharing food

Running a successful restaurant chain is rewarding, but when locations are underperforming it can have a huge negative knock-on effect for the rest of your business.

As a result, many operators find themselves spending a lot of their time worrying about how they’re going to improve underperforming sites. 

Sales data will show you which sites are struggling, but it won’t help you understand why. And sending area managers to sites can uncover some of the issues, but customer feedback can help you uncover even more. Customer feedback can also be accessed and reviewed remotely in a quicker time frame. 

Fundamentally, without guest feedback, understanding a restaurant locations' strengths and weaknesses (and why they’re performing differently to other sites) will become much harder. As a result, managers can’t make changes that turnaround performance levels.  

With the cost of living crisis causing more people to eat out less often, it’s more important than ever to ensure all of your restaurants are delivering great quality food and service. Without it customers are likely to dine with competitors and you may find that you need to start closing locations. Recent examples include Papa Johns and TGI Fridays.

So if you want to know how to improve restaurant performance, read on.

What challenges do restaurants face when trying to improve restaurant performance?

Underperforming restaurants can be difficult to improve when you don’t have the right information. Many restaurants face a range of obstacles on the path to  boosting restaurant performance. We look at some of those obstacles in the sections below.

Poor performing restaurants take up a lot of time 

While underperforming restaurants are the least profitable they can end up taking around 80% of an operator’s management efforts. This can feel frustrating when all your effort ends up reaping minimum rewards. 

However, when detailed customer feedback and insights are collected they can be used to help restaurants better target their improvements to increase success. 

Underperforming restaurants can be a continuous problem

Poor performing restaurants can be a continuous problem for management staff, which can lead to other restaurant locations not getting the attention they need. This can create frustrations among your management and marketing teams as well as front-of-house staff as they may not feel they’re getting the support they need. 

When valuable time and efforts aren’t divided evenly or given to the restaurant sites that need it, productivity and motivation can dip, causing other locations' performance and customer satisfaction levels to falter. 

It’s difficult to understand mass amounts of data 

It’s an understatement to say that restaurants are swimming in data. And while it’s great to have it, it can be difficult to know what to do with it. As a result, restaurants need greater clarity on what data is going to add value to their services and what changes will actually lead to performance improvements. 

If you think sales data is doing the heavy lifting when it comes to understanding performance, you may need to think again. Sales data only gives restaurants part of the picture, making it hard to know why certain locations are underperforming and how their issues can be solved. 

They're concerned about the impact underperforming restaurants may have on the rest of the business

Any business is only as strong as its weakest link. This can cause concern for managers and owners as they can’t necessarily see a direct impact of how underperforming restaurants are affecting the business as whole. 

Unfortunately, when restaurant locations start to experience problems and struggle with keeping their customers happy, it can have a huge effect on the business as a whole. When you receive negative reviews or customers mention their poor experience to friends and family you can find yourself losing potential new and returning guests, even within highly performing sites. 

How can Yumpingo solve this issue?

While dealing with underperforming restaurant locations can be difficult, we at Yumpingo strive to help restaurants around the world find simple and effective ways to improve restaurant performance.

Below we set out just three of the ways we can help you do that.

Spot issues early on

We help you spot issues early on so that you can solve them before they cause bigger problems. By implementing preventative measures quickly you can take a proactive approach toward restaurant issues. 

Yumpingo does this by gathering guest feedback to understand where restaurant locations are performing well and where they’re falling short. This gives you the opportunity to identify any improvements needed within:

  • Service,
  • Menu,
  • Food quality,
  • Cleanliness.

For example, you may find that your culinary team needs further training on preparing certain dishes. You’ll know, from a deeper understanding of guest feedback if this means simplifying menu items and the way they’re made to make it easy for them to be made to a consistent high quality across all restaurant locations.

Improve customer satisfaction levels

We’ll help you implement strategic business improvements that transform your execution quality throughout all processes within your business.

By identifying critical issues and understanding why certain sites are underperforming we help you enhance your guest experiences and satisfaction levels.

Weekly insight notifications will be emailed to you to help implement quick wins at relevant locations. We call these ‘Smart Actions’. They’re there to help you make simple, yet effective changes to your operations. 

When you improve your food quality and services within underperforming restaurants you boost guest satisfaction across your business as a whole, helping you enhance brand reputation and gain and retain customers. 

Test and try new things 

We understand that restaurants don’t necessarily want to be reactive to the issues they’re facing, which is why we prioritize changes, and work with you to implement the ones that are going to succeed immediately. 

As a result, we can help you test and try different procedures, dishes and suppliers across selected restaurant locations to help you decide whether to implement it across all sites. 

For example, one of our clients tested two different chip suppliers across their restaurants, allowing them to understand which chips are preferred by their customers. This process helped them discover that the cheapest supplier provided the best chips, saving them thousands annually. 

By testing new procedures or suppliers, you’ll have the confidence to know you’re making decisions that will positively affect your restaurants. 

Growing your customer satisfaction levels with Yumpingo

Improving your satisfaction levels are crucial for success. If you’re experiencing poor performing restaurant locations, it’s time to take action! No more sitting around putting off making changes because you’re unsure on whether it’ll be successful. 

We’ll work with you to make changes that are almost guaranteed to improve your satisfaction levels. 

When you take the time to understand the issues in your restaurants and why they’re happening you can enhance brand reputation, boost profits and drive new and returning guests. 

We’ll help you adapt the way you act on customer insights by focusing on improvements that make more of an impact. Discover more about how you can use data to maximise customer loyalty and satisfaction in our blog post.

For example, we helped one of our clients improve their guest satisfaction levels, causing an increase of 6 NPS points and a 20% sales uplift in their chosen restaurants. This helped drive more revenue and customers month on month.  

So what are you waiting for? Speak to our experts today to hear how we are helping the likes of Nandos’ UK address and manage performance issues within their locations.

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