Restaurant Startup Tip: Meet your customers’ expectations

Recently a pretty big restaurant in east Orlando closed its doors after being open for only about one year. The restaurant opened to a lot of excitement because it was owned by a former football player who was a pretty big star in this area. So One Fat Frog was surprised and saddened to hear of this restaurant closing, because the Frog loves football almost as much as we love food.

But then the Frog started asking the question: Why did this restaurant close when everyone thought it would be a big success? After asking around, it didn’t take long to find the answer. Everyone you asked about their experience as a customer at this restaurant seemed to say the same thing: it’s overpriced and the service is bad.

People are willing to spend more for restaurant food if it’s worth it. If you’re paying gourmet prices for a gourmet hamburger, it had better taste significantly better than a fast food burger. If not, customers aren’t going to come back. Service is perhaps an even bigger deal. I don’t know of anyone who says “yeah, the service is horrible at that restaurant but I love it there anyway.” You don’t have to be a genius Frog to know that people expect good service at a restaurant and the more money they pay, the better they expect the service to be. If they’re paying $5 for their meal, expectations are low so it’s okay if the service isn’t the best. Customers are willing to go there because the price is great. However, if the entrees are a little pricey, people expect more of everything, from the service to the taste to the presentation. As a restaurant entrepreneur, you need to make sure you meet the expectations of your customers, no matter what those expectations are.