Why You Should Go Online to Receive Restaurant Feedback

Since more and more consumers are visiting restaurant websites, offering an online comment card can be a great way to receive quick, timely and candid customer feedback.  “Asking customers to give us comments online is a great, inexpensive way for us to listen to them and make sure their experience is what we intend to provide,” says Rob Caswick, co-owner, Artuzzi’s Italian Kitchen, Atlanta, GA.

When soliciting feedback online here are some things to consider:

Find the best format to get feedback

There are many kinds of online feedback forms.  Some are short questionnaires, or links to an email address. According to Alex Brennan-Martin, his restaurant gets far more detailed comments if they offer an email to a restaurant staff member rather than a formatted check box form. He goes on to say that many of the comments are favorable about staff members and having the information to share with them helps them understand how valuable they are to the restaurant.

Make giving feedback easy

Most suggest making the link on the restaurant’s homepage directly to the comment area.  The link should be clear and easy to find so customers know you’re eager to hear from them.  It makes them feel valued.

Mark Goughnour, president of reportfactory.com says, “Seeing that you ask for feedback on your site can have an added benefit – it underscores that you care about what your customers think.”

Promote the availability of online feedback

At Davenport’s in East Providence, RI, at the bottom of each check stub is a request for customers to leave their feedback online. “Normally I get about 100 online comments a month,” says Gregg Davenport, owner, “but twice a year I give customers an incentive – such as a free appetizer – and then I get as many as 500 in a month.

Respond to your comments immediately

“I respond to all emails personally, and try to do so within 24 hours,” says Rob. All of the comments made about Artuzzi’s go directly to Rob’s email.  The restaurant receives about 300 per month. When he gets back to customers he always includes all of his contact info, including cell number so a customer can call him directly if they choose.

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One Response to “Why You Should Go Online to Receive Restaurant Feedback”

  1. CommentBox Says:

    Interesting article, I particularly agree with the points that you should make feedback easy, that comments should go to the relevant staff, and that the feedback channel should be well promoted to make customers feel valued.

    However, asking customers to go online to leave feedback can cause problems, as they may forget to visit your site, or they may forget interesting details before they get around to leaving feedback. A novel way of collecting feedback from customers before they have even left your restaurant is through SMS. CommentBox (http://www.comment-box.co.uk/), is a UK-based company offering just this – send comments direct to the manager by text message, its easy to use, customers feel valued, and managers can respond immediately.

    A lot of restaurant visitors may not actually see the restaurant’s website, but they will all be exposed to CommentBox if a restaurant uses the service. Its a great way to ensure timely feedback from restaurant customers.

    Alex,
    CommentBox

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