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As competition in the casual dining sector continues to grow and consumers have ever more choice, restaurants must carefully examine the competitive advantage offered by digital transformation. Operators must examine their processes to ensure that they leverage technology and data to provide the best guest experience for their guests and do this in the most cost-effective way.
“We have been collecting feedback successfully for years, but we have struggled with the administrative overhead and have wanted to be more flexible and agile,” said Lucy Thompson, Head of Operational Planning at Bella Italia.
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Bella Italia, the leading 107-venue Italian restaurant chain, went live across all sites with Feed It Back, the EPOS-linked guest feedback service, in June 2017, following a successful trial involving a clutch of venues.
Feed It Back is the only guest feedback system that integrates in real time with Zonal’s Aztec EPoS system, among others, enabling feedback questions to be uniquely personalised to each guest’s visit.
Feed It Back has the unique ability to know what each restaurant guest has ordered and when, which enables brands such as Bella Italia to ask specific and targeted questions for each dish.
For operators, each review is presented with the details and context of the visit, providing far more meaning and insight compared to traditional feedback methods.
In addition, it has an integrated case management system for managing both positive and negative feedback, which receives and assigns comments and reviews from several sources including emails from guests.
James Spragg, Chief Operations Officer at Bella parent company Casual Dining Group, said: “We can now be more nimble with new menu launches, immediately evaluating every dish at every restaurant and making refinements to ensure guests are happy. It also enables us to innovate and take risks, and find out very quickly whether a new dish is working.”
“For the first time, we can understand all of the reasons behind any negative feedback and recovery actions are assigned to the right members of staff,” said Lucy. “We can see common causes for negative experiences by branch, area and brand. We can communicate with staff and guests and resolve complaints, all through the system. If we want to send a voucher to a guest, we can be alerted when the voucher is redeemed. Best of all, the system shows us all the positive comments coming back from our guests.”
“Cost reductions have been realised through reduced manual effort in handling complaints,” added Lucy. “Plus, we can make changes to questions or settings ourselves in Feed It Back’s self-service dashboard, with changes taking effect in real time.”
Ease of use
We found that Feed It Back provides us with a dynamic platform that we can manage internally,” summarised Lucy, “but that is really easy to use at all levels for operational staff, our dedicated guest experience team and most importantly our guests.”
“Our next step will be to look at taking advantage of Feed It Back’s social media listening technology to support our social strategy and objectives”.