Digital Surveys Yield Improved Service & Ops for Alondra Hot Wings

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Digital Surveys Yield Improved Service & Ops for Alondra Hot Wings

By Joey Kazarian, Owner, Alondra Hot Wings - 09/05/2014
Alondra Hot Wings Restaurant & Grill (www.alondrawings.com) is a full-service restaurant with four locations in Los Angeles County. The restaurant’s vision is to serve quality food for families with exceptional service in a great atmosphere.
Like most restaurants Alondra’s values customer feedback. Both criticism and praise are instructional for continually improving the guest experience.

Alondra’s strategy for collecting feedback from customers initially was a comment card system. However, the response rate was too low to get an accurate picture of overall customer satisfaction. Some guests with constructive criticism revealed that they didn’t trust comment cards; they thought servers might not turn in negative comments. Guests wanted a way to communicate directly to management without the server reading their comments.

Another challenge with the comment card system was that servers could become emotionally affected by negative reviews, to the point where it would be impact attitude and performance.

Alondra’s found the biggest problem with the comment card system, however, was that management was only alerted to a negative customer experience after the guest had already left the restaurant. Often, this also means that the upset guest has had ample opportunity to post rants on social media or Yelp, doing damage to public perception. At that point, there is less that can be done to turn things around for the guest, and their bad experience has been broadcast across social media channels for all to see.

Digital makeover for “comment cards” increases response rates
Alondra’s wanted a more efficient and timely method for gauging customer experience. Alondra’s turned to LRS (www.lrsus.com) for a solution that would provide feedback in real-time allowing management to resolve issues on the spot. Now when a guest is ready to check out, customers are handed a tablet with a customer feedback application from LRS called Check Point.

Guests enjoy interacting with the tablet format much more than handwritten comment cards, and response rates now hover around 80 percent. Guests also appreciate that answers are confidential and the information goes straight to management.

Turning negative comments into positive changes
Anytime a customer records a negative experience, a manager gets an instant text alert. The alerts provide management with the chance to address the customer right away, ensuring that all guests leave with a good feeling about their dining experience.

The system also offers comprehensive analytics that allow managers to evaluate both service and operations. Every week, the quality control managers dissect the data compiled through Check Point to look for patterns or systemic issues that can be fixed with restaurant-wide changes. The information is also used to identify specific training or re-training opportunities for employees.

Customer feedback is further used to give servers an incentive to do a good job: those who learn from their mistakes are rewarded for quantifiable improvements. The servers have even developed a healthy competition to see who can get the best feedback. They’re happy knowing they are doing well, and they get positive reinforcement from glowing guest responses. At the same time, negative feedback can be addressed with staff in the appropriate time and place.

The feedback shows that customers appreciate knowing they’ve been heard; that their opinions matter; and that appropriate action will be taken to improve on areas that need attention.

One thing we’ve learned in our quest for comprehensive, immediate guest feedback is that while people love the down-home, quality food of a “mom and pop” restaurant, they also appreciate the consistency of a corporate-style service structure. Digital survey tablets allow Alondra’s to deliver both.