Handling Guest Complaints and Problems in a Restaurant / Coffee Shop

Approach the guest and ask politely if there is a problem:
  • Excuse me, may I help you Mr. Samuel? (Listen with concern and empathy).
  • Stay calm. And never argue with the guest.
  • Be aware of the guest's self-esteem. Show a personal interest in the problem, Try to use the guest name frequently.
  • Tell the guest what can be the best done. Offer choices. Don't promise the impossible, and don't exceed your authority.
  • Set an approximate time for completion of corrective actions. Be specific, but do not underestimate the amount of time it will take to resolve the problem.
  • Monitor the progress of the corrective action done to resolve the guest complaint.
  • Follow up. Even if the complaint was resolved by someone else, Contact the guest to ensure that the problem was resolved satisfactory.
  • Restaurant staff should take corrective actions without any hesitation.
Apologizing  and taking action as per issue:
  • I’m so sorry (about this), Mr. Samuel.
  • I’m terribly sorry (about this).
  • Please accept (our / my) sincere apologies, Mrs. David. 
For Complaints about the food:
  • Shall I bring you another Juice ?
  • I’ll bring you another one right away.
  • I’ll change it right away.
  • I’ll speak to the chef, and see what we can do.
  • Would you like your steak  cooked a little more?
  • Would you like to order something else instead?
  • I’ll have the kitchen prepare another one. Would you like some wine while you are waiting?
About the service:
  • I’ll attend to it right away.  / I’ll look into the matter at once.
  • I’ll see about your order right away. 
  • Excuse me,  Mr. Bernard. It will be about another (15) minutes for your chicken soup to get ready. 
  • Your food will be ready in about (15) minutes. (Apologize if there has been a delay.) Thank you for your patience.
About the air-conditioning:
  • I’ll turn the air-conditioning (down / up / off).
  • Would you like to move to a warmer place / table?
About the table:
  • I’m afraid all the tables (near the pool / lake view area) are already taken. I’ll let you know as soon as when one is free.
  • I’m sorry, but the restaurant is very full at the moment. This is the only table I can offer you.
Spillages and Breakages:
  • Let me help you, Mr. Wilson.  / Allow me, Mr. David.
  • I’ll fetch you a (towel / some water).
  • I do apologize for the accident, Mr. Langer. May I have it dry cleaned for you? 

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