Using insight to gain a competitive edge in the casual dining market

Bistrot Pierre, the French Bistrot group with 24 sites, recognised the importance of encouraging, tracking and listening to customer feedback across its estate to steal a march in a competitive high street landscape.

They’d previously tried working with other feedback providers, but the volume of data they were receiving wasn’t meaningful and the systems were complicated. They needed a change and they chose Feed It Back.

NICK WHITE, CEO, Bistrot Pierre, explains: “Competition on the high street is ferocious, with a number of outstanding brands fighting for market share. Throw into this mix the ever-changing wants and needs of consumers and shifting market trends, alongside the importance of social media and online reputation, and it becomes clear that brands absolutely must track and understand their customer experience to keep customers coming through the door.

“This isn’t a new focus for us, in fact we’ve been doing it for years, but not as effectively as we would have liked. The previous systems we’ve used either didn’t generate the volume of data we needed to get tangible results, or had confusing platforms that made it impossible to interpret data. Since switching to Feed It Back, we now receive 5,000 pieces of feedback a week, in an easily interpreted format that helps us get more people through the door. But post meal feedback is just the tip of the iceberg of the value of Feed It Back.”

“The Feed It Back system, is a vital tool used to track our business and is respected from the board to the restaurant floor. We know Feed It Back’s system and NPS scores give a true representation of how customers feel about our business. It actively seeks out feedback we otherwise wouldn’t have heard and is a key performance indicator we use to analyse our customer experience and inform our strategic business decisions and proposition.”

Nick White, CEO, Bistrot Pierre

Since implementing the system, Bistrot Pierre has experienced a number of benefits that have fundamentally helped drive sales and save time.

“Feed It Back renders all data from our bespoke post meal surveys, with social reviews left on Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook platforms into easily navigable word clouds, clearly highlighting key positive and negative trends in the feedback. It’s actionable data that the team uses on a daily basis to improve the offer, but also gives head office a snapshot of the wider picture across the estate, so we can refine dishes and elements of the business around what customers truly want.

“For example, when recently launching a new menu we changed the supplier of our popular ‘pommes frites’. This is a very popular dish for us and through the data from Feed It Back we were able to very quickly understand customers preferred the original ‘pommes frites’. By understanding this early on, we were able to quickly switch back and limit the negative impact of the change.

“Consistency and quality control are key targets for nationwide brands and NPS scores are a valuable tool in tracking this. But they only work if they are accurate and reliable. When we joined Feed It Back our NPS scores actually dropped, but we weren’t disheartened because we knew they were robust, trustworthy scores.

“From these scores, our sites had a base level they could focus on driving up and improving the customer experience. They knew their efforts would be recognised and this was transferred to the customer. It was no longer a case of ‘we think we know how the customer feels’, but we know the actual truth – which are two very different things.

“It’s all about truth. When we joined Feed It Back our NPS scores dropped, but we knew they were real scores. From true scores, our sites had a base level they could focus on driving up and improving the customer experience. They knew their efforts would be recognised and this was transferred to the customer.”

Arpita Anstey, Marketing Director, Bistrot Pierre

There’s sometimes a stigma around feedback systems being negative for company culture – employees see them as a snooping tool. This is absolutely not the case with Feed It Back. Key reason being that our employees know the system is not just about understanding what can be improved across our business, it’s about rewarding excellence.

“As part of the platform, reviewers have the option to praise a staff member who has gone above and beyond. This positive endorsement motivated employees and consequently drove up standards and the customer experience across the estate.

“For us, the icing on the cake of the platform has been its ability to drive return custom. The platform allows sites to directly engage with customers and take ownership of feedback, which were previously managed centrally, meaning head office had to individually log into 22 separate Facebook pages to deal with comments. Not only has this improved our guest retention, but it has saved a considerable amount of time and effort.”

We would like to thank Bistrot Pierre for the use of images and contributing to this case study.