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Is Your Restaurant Raising These Red Flags?

No one knows better than you, it can be tough to operate in the restaurant industry. From razor-thin profit margins, an oversaturated market, and near constant staff turnover, business is tough. So, it’s important not to scare away guests. Here are four red flags restaurants often send, scaring away repeat guests.

pushy waiter

Pushy Servers

We all want to upsell to guests, but there’s a difference between informing guests of the specials and being a used-car salesman, especially if the specials are something pretty perishable – like seafood.

Setting standards for your servers is encouraged and we know you have your financial goals in mind, but a pushy server creates a bad guest experience. And that’s bound to hurt your bottom line sooner than later.

Better idea? Make sure your staff’s goals are people-oriented instead of financially oriented. It empowers your team and creates a superior guest experience.

The Menu is Longer than War and Peace

A super long menu might seem like a great idea, right? It gives your guests plenty of options. There’s something for everyone. Great, right?

long menu

Yes, and no. Sure, it makes life easier for your family guests when one kid wants pizza, the other fish & chips, and a third has the munchies for pancakes (not to mention what mom & dad want). But offering that many dishes sends a red flag that your chef isn’t an expert in any particular style, and the quality of the dishes will probably reflect that.

Craft your menu as your guests dictate, but also know what message you’re sending in the process.

Slow Service in an Empty Restaurant

No guest enjoys slow service, and that grows 10-fold when they’re the only ones in your establishment. If your guests can hear the cooks swearing at one another from across the room, it shouldn’t take an hour to get them their food.

It sends the sign that you don’t care about your guests and that their time and money isn’t worth anything to you. When that’s the case, they’ll take their money elsewhere.

As we’ve said before, our industry is notoriously bad when things are slow and we have no one else to blame but ourselves. It’s up to managers, however, to make sure things run as quickly and smoothly when it’s slow as it is when your room is packed.

Dirty Bathroom

Nothing will gross your guests out faster than a dirty bathroom. Doesn’t matter if it’s negligence on your staff’s behalf or a previous guest clogged the toilet, a dirty bathroom is a huge red flag to guests that your establishment isn’t very clean.


A clean kitchen starts in the bathroom, so if you want your guests to trust in the health and safety of their meal, make sure your bathrooms are sparkling.

(Source:; by Justin Aucoin)

Keeping your business in top shape can be a challenge – and expensive. Why not inquire about a free, no-obligation quote from ARF Financial, and use the extra money to address any red flags that are hindering you from success. We have low rates, fixed terms up to 3 years and a streamlined approval process. You could have your money in as little as 5-7 business days. Click here to get started!

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