Whether you own 1 restaurant or 100 there's no eluding the fact that restaurant customer satisfaction is quite possibly the most important element in grading overall restaurant performance.
As operators there are so many variables that require your attention. Every restaurant company has a different approach to grading operations but one variable rings true with every organization: customer satisfaction. If the people coming into your restaurant do not leave happy, what will be their motivator for returning? ... They won't have one unless you're at the street corner handing out free product!
Let's take a company like Yum! Brands, for example. They have two different scores to gauge restaurant customer satisfaction: CHAMPS (Customer, Hospitality, Accuracy, Maintenance, Product and Speed of Service) and Likely to Recommend. The great franchisees of Yum! Brands will focus a lot of their efforts to assuring those two scores are above average. Next time you go to a Taco Bell, Pizza Hut or KFC look at your receipt. On the back of it, you'll see a code to enter for a digital survey. If you complete a customer survey you will be entered to win $1,000. Those surveys will be tracked for each individual location, thus giving the franchise as a whole an overall grade.
A question that we like to ask restaurant operators is, "Do you think you could improve restaurant customer satisfaction by implementing a business intelligence software?" It has raised a few eyebrows throughout the years but our follow up question every time is, "What if you had the capability to improve customer satisfaction AND increase sales AND reduce costs, simultaneously?" At that point, we have their attention. For the sake of time and limited space, let's stick to just improving restaurant customer satisfaction via business intelligence software. We came up with 5 ways to justify our case:
1. Market basket analysis
If you're unfamiliar with the term 'market basket' that's ok. It's inherently similar to menu mix or product mix reports but at the same time, greatly different. Market basket analysis, found in MIRUS BI solutions, analyzes companion products and has a distinct granularity that is much more specific compared to summarized menu mix analysis reports. Paying a high level of attention to market basket is especially important for restaurant customer satisfaction. Why? You have the ability to analyze what specifically your customers are eating; take advantage of that! You can get creative with menu selections, too. If you notice through research that a certain side item is selling well with an entree, pair them together with a discount. Your customers will be pleased!
2. Analyzing service times
It doesn't matter what restaurant concept you have the customers want their food and they want it served to them quickly. Do yourself a favor and spend some time each week analyzing the service times for your locations. If you recall, a few years ago Domino's did a huge ad campaign formed around delivery times. If your pizza was not delivered to you hot and fresh in 30 minutes you had yourself a free pizza. That's one example of a company demonstrating some transparency. Domino's knew they had a problem and they fixed it; in front of the whole nation. Using BI software to analyze service times will ultimately leave your customers satisfied because you as an operator have the ability to dive into the source of the slow times and allows you to fix it.
3. Balancing out the labor
This is always a tricky piece of the puzzle for operators. All owners are going to place a higher degree of importance on different operational variables. For owners that put revenue above all else (which is obviously very common) there will be tendencies to put pressure on operators to tighten up labor. Proceed with caution. In theory, if you lower the labor, there's more potential to make higher amounts of money. However, you are sacrificing customer satisfaction by doing this. With fewer people working in the store, service times are at risk to slow down, ultimately making customers upset. Finding that sweet spot or balance between amount of customers and employees to service them can be found in restaurant BI software giving you a competitive edge in driving customer satisfaction.
4. Internal sales competitions
Everybody loves a little friendly competition. If your restaurant concept is focused heavily on dine-in make it a point to do a monthly sales competition among servers. (Perhaps an upsell competition based on number of desserts sold per working hour... just an idea!) They now have a deeper, more extrinsic motivation to serve your customers. With business intelligence software you have the capability to judge the competition and continually motivate your team with the hopes of driving revenues and increasing customer satisfaction.
5. Promotion analysis
In conjunction with menu mix and market basket analysis, running weekly promotion analyses to discover what promos are selling best at your stores will also help customer satisfaction. If you offer the deals your customers love they will keep coming back to your restaurant. For example, a few years ago Pizza Hut launched a product called the Big Box Deal. It was an LTO that took off. With a $20 price point, the deal boosted guest check average, catapulting sales. Pizza Hut ran the deal intermittently for about two years until finally they made it a permanent menu item. Another benefit as if relates to BI software and customer satisfaction is the ability to shut off promotions that are hurting your company. Some promos may look great on the top line but if there are adverse effects to profit margin because of COS (cost of sales), you'll want to do yourself and manager a favor and abstain from running that promo again.