What are guests' views on venue appearance?


What are guests' views on venue appearance?

A waitress carrying cups and saucers with guests sat in the background of the restaurant

First impressions count, and the appearance of your hospitality venue can make or break a guest's stay. Unconvinced? We asked more than 1,000 guests for their views on venue appearance. Here's what they had to say...

The first look

The majority of our guests (64%) told us that the most important appearance factor when it comes to creating a positive first impression of a restaurant is that the venue looks presentable and well-kept from the doorway. We'd recommend doing a walk-through so you can view your restaurant through the eyes of your guests as they enter.

A clean and neatly laid table came in second place with 18% of the votes, while 13% told us the outside looking clean and tidy would be the most important factor to them.

The worst culprits

When we asked our guests what conclusion a poorly presented restaurant would lead them to jump to, 61% told us that they would assume the kitchen was dirty. Additionally, 21% believed this indicated that the team don't care about their site and therefore would not care about their customers either. A further 13% thought it would show that the staff are disorganised and that guests would not be properly looked after.

Our research found that a number of things could potentially put guests off even entering a restaurant. Cigarettes on the floor or overflowing ashtrays in an outside space would be a deciding factor for 37% of guests, while dirty windows and broken or missing signage were equally reviled at 19% and 18% respectively. Litter outside the venue would turn 16% of guests off.

The staff

Of course, appearance extends to your team as well as your venue. Our survey revealed that 48% of guests would be most concerned about dirty hands, 28% about bad or strong body odour (including perfume), and 13% would be most put off by dirty clothes or aprons. Interestingly, inappropriate make-up or jewellery was the least off-putting thing about a staff member's appearance with only 1% of the votes.

If appearances matter to guests, then they should matter to your business. Putting time and effort into the right areas will prevent you losing out on custom.

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