Anyone starting a new business knows that it can be difficult to get the operation up and running, let alone make a profit. And when it comes to the restaurant industry, the stakes get even higher. Everyone can probably think of one street in their town where it seems like no restaurant can gain a solid footing – every few months a new one opens up, only to close down within the year. In today’s world of online reviews and apps that rate and review food, a new restaurant needs to be good from the day it opens. Anything less than that could prove fatal.

Keep reading to learn how your new restaurant could benefit from mystery shoppers:

Customer service

Aside from the quality of food you serve, the most important thing your new establishment needs is excellent customer service. As The Balance noted, customer service is key to retaining business. It’s not enough that your wait staff can deliver food on time or that your bartenders can pour drinks. They need to be able to speak with customers and solve problems on the fly. When you use mystery shoppers, you’ll get detailed information about the quality of customer service your staff provides. You can use this information to develop training programs, assess your current employees and find actionable points of improvement.

Food quality

Nothing makes or breaks a new restaurant faster than the quality of food it serves. Nowadays, you might get an online review complaining about your food, but there are no specifics about how it could be improved. All you have is a low star-rating that could be affecting your income. However, when you use mystery shoppers, you’ll be able to test every dish on the menu and learn unbiased opinions about each one. If you think you might be having trouble with the menu, mystery shoppers can help.

Brand awareness

You might think that brand awareness only applies to retailers, but it can also mean a lot in the restaurant industry. Not only should your establishment provide amazing customer service onsite, you should also be engaging with those customers online and in other forums. Consider that most people pick a restaurant by looking at what’s nearby using their smartphones – if your establishment has a poor web presence, it might get skipped over for an inferior competitor with a better website! If your website and social media profiles aren’t providing the right information, mystery shoppers can help you pinpoint the problem spots and fix them quickly.

Restaurant Engine noted that promotions are extremely important for new restaurants. People like to stick with what they know, which means you could have difficulty getting foot traffic in the door. But if you can provide some coupons or other promotions, customers may be more willing to give your establishment a shot.

Opening a new restaurant can seem like a gamble at times, but using mystery shoppers can take away some of the risk of starting a new business.