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Using Text Surveys in a Fast Casual Restaurant

While mystery shopping is one way to see how your fast casual restaurant is performing, there are ways you can see how well you’re doing almost instantly, and to hear it right from the customers themselves.

One way to do this is by using quick, simple text message–based surveys to collect feedback from your customers. It’s less hassle than filling out a comment card before they leave — nearly everyone is accustomed to sending text messages — and it’s far more likely that they’ll take the time to fire off a couple of quick text answers than call a survey line and spend 5 minutes on the phone talking about a dining experience.

Texting on a keyboard phone

Image via Wikipedia

The implementation is easy: Place table tents in the seating area that list your “short code” (a 5-digit number diners will punch in to text their answers to) and invite them to take a survey about their experience in your restaurant. Once you’ve got them in the system, you can ask them about anything: the ordering experience, the friendliness of the server, the quality of the food, the cleanliness of the restaurant, and whether they would tell their friends.

You might also consider printing the short code at the bottom of every receipt to remind people that they can offer feedback on their experiences any time, even if they don’t get a chance the second they’re in the restaurant.

In a fast-paced environment like a restaurant, everything needs to happen quickly. The best thing about these surveys: Results come immediately! And if you receive negative feedback from a customer who’s still in your restaurant, you have an immediate opportunity to correct what’s wrong or go above and beyond for them to give them a reason to come back next time.

You might even consider offering diners an incentive for completing the survey, even something as a free drink next time they come in. You’ll know it’s worth it as the survey responses start rolling in and you’re able to improve your customers’ fast-casual dining experiences better each time.

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