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What impact does Customer Satisfaction have on Restaurant Profit Margin?

Posted by Mirus Team

For the past couple months, we have discussed on multiple occasions how tight the margins are within the restaurant industry. We’ve posted 4 areas you care most about and how promotion analysis is just one piece of the puzzle where focus should be placed throughout the entire company; not just in Marketing. Furthermore, we have also talked about customer satisfaction and how important it is to analyze ordering trends using restaurant BI solutions. You can see where I am going with this, per the title of this post. Let’s dive into how customer satisfaction can impact net revenue.


“The customer is always right!” – says every general manager, ever.


Classic restaurant cliché… Being the server at a restaurant is certainly an unforgiving and challenging job. Each table they get in their assigned area of the dining room begins as a blank canvas. It’s up to the server to assure at the end of the customer’s dining experience that the canvas is painted with a beautiful picture with happy, satisfied customers. Aside from that, the server also has to have direct correspondence with the kitchen staff. Another blank canvas... the kitchen staff has an equally challenging job of preparing delicious food for the customer(s). And if that food, for whatever reason, is not good, it falls on the shoulders of the server who is trying to maintain a pleasant smile as he or she passes through the busy dining room of tables, chairs and booths full of people. What a difficult balancing act. For anyone who has ever been a server, especially during the 5-8p window on a Friday/Saturday night… We salute you.

All of the above is just a microcosm to a much larger picture… all servers, kitchen staff, hostesses, managers, etc. need to be a well-oiled machine to satisfy every customer that walks in the door to dine with them. The above-store operators who are not physically in every restaurant on a day-to-day basis are relying heavily on each restaurant staff to deliver great customer satisfaction. Why? The answer is pretty obvious – but one answer we would like to give is: because restaurant profit margin will be positively affected (meaning, you’ll make more money) by way of great customer service.


“The best form of restaurant marketing is great operations” – Gary Coomer


Who is Gary Coomer? Well, he happens to be my father but he is also the President/CEO of a 23 unit Pizza Hut franchise in Ohio and Indiana. He’s been in the restaurant industry since 1982 – so whatever he has to say in regards to anything restaurant related, I’m listening and I most certainly trust what he is saying. There’s no second guessing over 30 years’ experience…

His quote, though, has to hit home with almost everybody in the restaurant industry. Having operations success sets the stage for overall restaurant success. And, I’ve always been a believer that the best form of marketing is word of mouth – so if you dine at a restaurant and you have a great experience, that is due to solid operations and once you leave, chances are you’ll be telling your family and friends.

Building a restaurant brand that people love and talk about is achieved through great operations – great operations is achieved by hiring and training great employees to be customer maniacs – having customers that love your brand = higher likelihood of more profitable margins.

Don’t worry restaurant marketers; your job is still very important. In the event that your brand isn’t receiving the recognition it deserves you are there to help fuel the fire and generate awareness to create a buzz around your concept.


How does MIRUS have anything to do with customer satisfaction, operations OR profit margin?


I’ll begin by answering that question with a quote/metaphor by our CEO, Dave Bennett: “Would you rather be served a fish dinner or have someone teach you how fish?” Sidebar: I asked my wife this question and she answered the former – until I explained things better to her… This metaphor is great in how it relates to MIRUS. Ever since I overheard Dave use that quote I wanted to use it in a post.

Being served a fish dinner is great. (If you actually like fish, that is) For this case, let’s use grouper. Great fish that tastes delicious. Every time you want grouper for dinner, you have to drive to the restaurant and pay $20 for them to prepare it for you. Problem is, you absolutely love grouper… You need to eat it at least once a week. So now, not including gas or gratuity, you’re spending upwards of $80 per month to enjoy that grouper for dinner. Until one day… someone comes to you and says, “Hey John- you know what? You could sit on the dock and catch your own grouper! All you need is the right gear, some bait, a fishing license and I’ll teach you how!” (There’s a special way to catch grouper and only this one person knows how to do it…) So you take him up on the offer and you invest some money into fishing gear, a license and bait and next thing you know you’re out on the dock catching grouper! Each time you fish you catch enough to last you for one month. Even better, that same guy who taught you how to catch them is now teaching you how to prepare it the way you like. You found yourself in an ideal situation!

Now… let’s spin this metaphor into MIRUS terms. Simply put: MIRUS acts as “that one guy” who teaches you how to catch and prepare the grouper. In terms of your data and reporting and analysis capabilities as a restaurant company, the MIRUS ad hoc report writer has emerged as an industry leading restaurant BI solution to help restaurant companies of any concept increase customer satisfaction, achieve breakthrough operations results and increase restaurant profit margin.


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