Mystery Dining & Guest Feedback

Kind & Motivational language

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Kind and motivational language

It’s hard to take a positive tone when you’ve had a bad experience in service or food. But that’s what we have to do. Remember that you have been invited, at the expense of the client, to review their business. They welcome honest feedback and don't expect every visit to be perfect, but they do reasonably expect that you’ll explain what happened objectively and without vitriol and sarcasm.

Keep in mind that not only the management team but the staff themselves will read the report. We believe that nobody who runs a pub or restaurant goes to work to do a bad job or disappoint customers. They’re working hard in an often tough and pressured job and believe they’re doing their best.

Be honest and sincere, but think about how you’d deliver the feedback to the manager or owner face to face. If you wouldn’t say it that way, don’t write it that way.

If you mark down, explain neutrally what happened and make a positive statement about what could have been a better way to do it:

Good comment: I would have liked the waiter to make eye contact and greet me immediately’

Poor comment: ‘I was disappointed that the waiter ignored me when I arrived.’

“Could” is often easier to accept than “should” in feedback and makes statements feel less judgmental.

Good comment: 'The waiter could have cleared the table more quickly’

Poor comment:  ‘The waiter should have cleared the table more quickly.’

Silent Customers are motivators not critics. Our language and choice of wording needs to show that. If something is wrong, you don’t need to repeat it, use harsh words or let it colour the rest of your review. You don’t need to say you were ‘disappointed’ when you describe a fault – it feels too disapproving. We are there to observe and report.


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