For professional chefs, there’s no finish line that means “you’ve made it” – there is no chef on the planet that has achieved a level of excellence too superior to listen to what their customers have to say. There is always room for improvement in this industry.
Improve Your Skills Based on Feedback
Customer feedback is gold. Setting aside all of the additional elements, a chef’s job is simple: prepare food that customers enjoy eating. When customers are willing to offer their feedback, only a fool would be so arrogant to not listen to it – at the very least, every critique should be heard. The only thing that is standing between listening to criticism and ignoring it is this nasty, terrible little monster called ego. This infamous hellhound holds the title for the most detrimental, limiting, and counter-productive personality trait mankind has ever seen.
Is It Possible the Customer is Right?
When someone has the ability to set ego aside, unimaginable opportunities begin to surface. A long time ago, I was taught a mind blowing tactic I still practice today: Before you brush off criticism, simply ask yourself, “is it possible…?”
Whether criticism is coming from a place of love or a place of arrogance is irrelevant. When a customer is willing to help you along your eternal journey towards improvement, you must be open-minded enough to ask yourself, “Is it possible they may be right?”
Use Customer Feedback to Your Advantage.
Once you have established that it is indeed possible that the customer may be right, it is time to take action. Embrace the feedback and use it to your advantage. This does not mean that you have to blindly accept every criticism that comes your way – use your own judgement to decide which pieces of feedback are worth taking into consideration. But even if you do not agree with a particular critique, it is important to listen and try to understand where the customer is coming from. This will not only help you improve your skills as a chef, but it will also show your customers that you value their input and are willing to take their opinions into account.
Build a Stronger Relationship with Your Customers
By listening to your customers and taking their feedback into consideration, you can build a stronger relationship with them. Your customers will feel valued and appreciated, which can lead to increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing. In the long run, this can translate into increased business and success for your restaurant.
Chefs should listen to their customers in order to improve their skills, consider the possibility that the customer may be right, embrace and use customer feedback to their advantage, and build a stronger relationship with their customers. Ego should not stand in the way of taking the opportunity to learn and grow as a chef. Remember, the customer’s satisfaction is ultimately what will determine the success of your restaurant.