Last modified on August 24th, 2022 at 1:46 pm

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As a restaurateur, it can be hard to know what you’re getting right – and what needs to improve. Sales and profits tell part of the story. Reviews also tell part of the story, but not every customer is willing to provide public feedback. You likely don’t have enough insight to know whether there is something that you could tweak to make your guests’ experience even better.

Enter the restaurant survey, or restaurant questionnaire. Asking your customers to give you feedback can be an invaluable way to know what works – and what doesn’t – in your restaurant. Their input may allow you to improve service, a dish on your menu, or even the decor in your restaurant, and ultimately help your business become more successful.

At Budget Branders, we know how important customer feedback is to running a business. We’re proud to have developed great relationships with our clients based on our great products, fair prices, and commitment to customer satisfaction. If you’re interested in custom-branded disposable products, reach out today for a free quote.

The Most Important Questions To Ask In A Restaurant Survey

We have a list of over 40 of the best restaurant survey questions to ask further down in the post. Keep in mind when creating your survey that it doesn’t have to be very complex. You can obtain extremely valuable insights just by asking two simple questions:

  1. What was the best part of your visit to our restaurant?
  2. What was the worst part of your visit to our restaurant?

These two questions will provide you with insights into the strengths and weaknesses for your entire operation. You can use this feedback to double down on what your restaurant does best, while also improving in areas where your restaurant may be lacking.

How to Run a Restaurant Survey

There are lots of ways to run a survey. You can offer comment cards, give guests a link on their receipt, or even hand them a tablet to fill out a survey. In most cases, business owners provide a small incentive – like a chance to win a gift card or a percentage off of their next meal – to complete the survey.

No matter how you conduct your restaurant survey, the important thing is to ask the right questions. After all, if your restaurant survey questions aren’t designed to gather information that you can actually use, then there is no point in conducting a survey.

There is a lot of science behind survey design, particularly when it comes to collecting data on important topics. For your restaurant survey, the goal is to collect information that you can use, not to make sure that the results are scientifically valid.

To that end, consider using a mix of open-ended questions and multiple choice questions. Avoid multi-part questions, as guests will most likely just answer the first part and skip the rest. You should also try to limit the total number of questions that you ask, as most of your customers won’t want to spend 20 minutes on a restaurant survey.

Finally, think about what it is that you want to know when choosing restaurant survey questions to ask. If you are most concerned about service, for example, your survey could focus on queries about whether their server was friendly and welcoming. Alternatively, if you want a broad overview of the whole restaurant experience, use questions that cover all of the issues that you want to know about, like food and drink and facilities.

Types Of Restaurant Survey Questions

There are many different questions you could ask, and we’ve compiled over 40 different questions to ask in your survey. However, all possible survey questions ultimately fall under a few different question categories. For the most part, you’re asking questions in your survey to assess:

  • Service quality
  • Food quality
  • Restaurant atmosphere
  • Customer demographics
  • Overall customer experience
  • Ease of use for restaurant technology (website, app, delivery order system, etc.)

We’ve broken down all of our restaurant survey questions into these main categories. Remember, survey length can affect your completion rate. While we offer over 40 different restaurant survey questions to choose from, we recommend keeping your survey to no more than 15 questions to maximize the number of completed surveys you receive.

Best Restaurant Survey Questions By Category

Ready to get started? Check out this list of great questions to ask on your restaurant survey, grouped into broad categories.

Restaurant Basic Information Survey Questions

Before you dive into specific topics, it is a good idea to get some background info on your customers – like if they’re frequent guests, or only visit every so often. This data can inform what you do with the survey responses, as you may take suggestions from regulars more seriously than those offered by someone who is unlikely to visit again.

  1. Was this your first visit to our restaurant (Yes or no)
  2. How did you hear about our restaurant? (Drop-down or multiple choice options such as: social media, advertisement, personal recommendation, or drove past it)
  3. How often do you visit? (Drop-down or multiple choice:  once a week, one to two times a month, several times a year)
  4. How far did you travel to visit us today? (Open-ended question, or multiple choice with mile ranges)
  5. How likely is it that you would visit again? (Multiple choice – very likely, likely, unsure, unlikely, or very unlikely)
  6. Are our hours convenient? (Yes or no, with an option to explain more)
  7. Do you think that our restaurant would be a good choice for a celebration? (Yes or no)
  8. If we offered ______(new product or service), would you try it? (Yes or no)
  9. Is there anything that we could do to make our restaurant more family-friendly? (Yes or no, with the option to explain or give examples)

Restaurant Physical Space Survey Questions

You may have devoted a lot of time and energy to setting up your restaurant, but if your customers think that it’s too loud, too hard to read the menu, or is simply inaccessible, they won’t visit. These questions are designed to get at the heart of any problems that you may have with your facilities.

  1. Was it easy to find our restaurant? (Yes or no)
  2. Did you have any trouble with parking? (Yes or no)
  3. If we offered a valet service, would you use it? (Yes or no)
  4. Which three adjectives best describe the atmosphere of the restaurant? (Open-ended question)
  5. Were the bathrooms and other facilities clean? (Yes or no)
  6. How was the lighting level? (Multiple choice – too bright, too dim, or just right)
  7. How was the music volume? (Multiple choice – too loud, too soft, or just right)
  8. Were the seats and tables comfortable? (Yes or no)
  9. Was the space accessible to your needs? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)
  10. Is there anything that we could do to improve accessibility? (Open-ended question)

Customer feedback alone shouldn’t determine what you have on your menu. After all, there are lots of important considerations when it comes to your menu, such as food cost percentage. However, it is good to get an idea of what customers think about your food and drinks so that you can refine it and better meet their needs.

  1. Were you pleased with the food options on our menu? (Yes or no)
  2. How would you rate the number of food choices on our menu? (Multiple choice – too many, too few, or just right)
  3. Did the menu describe our food items well? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)
  4. Is there something that you would like to see on our menu? (Open-ended question)
  5. If you have food allergies, were we able to accommodate you? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)
  6. Were you happy with our selection of beverages (Yes or no, with the option to explain)
  7. What are your thoughts on the value of our food? (Rate on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the worst value and 5 being the best value)
  8. Do you think that our restaurant has options for everyone? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)

Restaurant Food Survey Questions

You’re in the business of providing meals as a service. It’s important that your food is good in order for your restaurant to survive. While opinions on food are subjective, opinions that are overwhelmingly similar might indicate some changes should be made. You won’t be in business long if the majority of customers aren’t impressed with your food. Below are some questions you can ask in relation to your food.

  1. What did you order? (Open-ended question)
  2. How did you enjoy your meal? (Open-ended question)
  3. Did everything come out exactly as you ordered it? (Yes or no, with the option to explain)
  4. If you ordered a hot dish, was your food warm when it arrived? (Yes or no)
  5. Did you order alcoholic beverages? (Yes or no)
  6. What did you think of your drinks? (Open-ended question)
  7. Do you have any dietary restrictions or preferences? (Yes or no)
  8. Were we able to accommodate your dietary preferences? (Yes or no, with the option to explain)

Restaurant Service Survey Questions

Even if you have the best food and drinks around, if your service isn’t great, then your patrons won’t leave happy. Asking these questions can help you figure out if there are any problems with service so that you can address them.

  1. Who was your server today? (Open-ended question)
  2. Was your service friendly and helpful? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)
  3. Did the host greet you upon arrival? (Yes or no)
  4. Were you made to feel welcomed by our host? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)
  5. Did your food and drinks come out fast enough? (Yes or no)
  6. Did your server provide recommendations? (Yes or no)
  7. Did your server check in on you to see if you needed anything during your meal? (Yes or no)
  8. Did the manager visit your table to check in on you? (Yes or no)
  9. Was your water refilled in a timely manner? (Yes or no)
  10. Did your service feel rushed? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)
  11. Did bussers clear the table between courses? (Yes or no)
  12.  If you had any issues with your food, drink, or something else, did your server address them for you? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)

Restaurant Technology Survey Questions

If you use any form of technology in your restaurant, it is a good idea to learn about the experience from your customers’ point of view. For example, if you use a QR code instead of a physical menu – an increasingly popular choice during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond – ask your customers what they think about it.

  1. Did you enjoy viewing our menu on your phone? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)
  2. Was our checkout system efficient and easy to use? (Yes or no, with an option to explain)
  3. Did you use any discounts or special offers today? (Yes or no)
  4. Would you prefer to pay your check through your server or using a handheld checkout system? (Prefer paying server or prefer checking out myself)
  5. If you ordered food online, how quickly did your food arrive? (Open-ended question)
  6. If you ordered food online, how did your food taste and appear when you received it? (Scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being bad and 5 being great)

Restaurant Big Picture Survey Questions

Finally, give your guests an opportunity to tell you, in their own words, how they feel about your restaurant. These three questions might be the most important that you can ask, as they allow your customers to express themselves without being confined to a multiple choice or drop-down box of options.

  1. What did you like most about your visit to our restaurant? (Open-ended question)
  2. What is one thing that we could improve? (Open-ended question)
  3. Do you have any other suggestions for us? (Open-ended question)

Benefits Of Providing A Restaurant Survey

There are many benefits that restaurant surveys can provide. The four largest benefits to collecting guest feedback can be found below.

  • Reduce Negative Reviews: You help prevent negative reviews by providing a non-public channel for customers to give feedback.
  • Gather Honest Opinions From Customers: Sure, managers may wander the restaurant and ask guests about their experience, but you won’t get as many honest answers without an anonymous outlet for providing feedback. A survey gives you a channel to gain valuable, honest, and unfiltered opinions from your customers.
  • Collect Market Data: You get to gather market insights on your target demographic if you’re asking questions about age, dining frequency, etc. You can use these insights to offer better promotions and produce more effective marketing materials.
  • Improve Service Quality: You might have ideas about what you’d like to improve within your restaurant, but it might not be what your customers are actually looking for. Restaurant surveys offer direct feedback from real customers, so you know what you should change and you can create a roadmap to prioritize improvements.

What To Do With Your Guest Feedback

Collecting valuable insights via restaurant surveys is a great first step in improving your business, but the insights won’t be very useful if you don’t do anything with them. Once you’ve received feedback from guests, it’s time to take action.

The first thing you want to determine is your system for reviewing feedback, and how regularly you’ll review feedback. Reviewing feedback on a weekly basis is ideal, but you could get by reviewing feedback on a monthly basis if you’re crunched for time. Reviewing feedback in shorter time increments than a week will likely provide you with too little data to be meaningful and over a month will likely be too much to manage.

You don’t have to respond to every piece of criticism provided in the feedback you receive, because some things will come down to personal preference. If you notice a lot of the same feedback, you can identify a trend in preference and it would then be worth making changes based on the trend you’ve identified.

There are certain types of feedback that should be prioritized over others and fixed sooner rather than later. Any criticism that deals with accessibility, health, or service should be corrected immediately. This type of feedback could include:

  • Individual with allergies that aren’t being accommodated
  • Wheelchair users who don’t receive access to accessible seating
  • Staff that is rude
  • Contaminants found in food or drinks

Feedback revolving around personal preference will take a lower priority unless you notice a larger trend. This type of feedback could involve:

  • Reports that the restaurant doesn’t feel family-friendly
  • Complaints of dishes being overcooked
  • Opinions stating that the music in the restaurant is too louds

Once you’ve identified things you want to change based on customer feedback, you’ll then need to meet with your team to make sure changes are implemented. Put a strategy in place for correcting issues and track the progress of your changes by continuing to monitor customer feedback.

What’s Next for Your Restaurant?

Once you have gathered feedback, make sure that you take the time to use it. While customers’ opinions shouldn’t  trump your own business, they may have spotted issues that you didn’t notice. Take the time to go through the survey responses, and make a game plan for how to use them to better your business.

Once you have done that, consider how you can boost the success of your restaurant with branded disposable products. Budget Branders, offers custom printed disposables at prices and in quantities that work for small and medium-sized businesses. When you add your name, logo, and/or slogan to your cups, bowls, coffee sleeves, and takeout bags, it can make a real impact on your outreach efforts.

To learn more about our products or to request a quote, contact us today by pressing the live chat button, or filling out our online contact form.