Diners Appetite For Feedback Opportunities Increases

Research from mystery guest review specialists HGEM has revealed that while online reviews remain a valuable tool for operators with 87% of consumers making diner choices based on them, consumers would also welcome more direct channels of feedback with operators – particularly email and conversations with the manager.

For operators hoping to rescue a customer following a negative experience with a server, a follow-up email is the ideal channel for nearly a third (31%) of diners – especially the 65+ Baby Boomers (44%) – while 25% would prefer to feedback directly to the server and/or manager on-site and 14% via an online review site. The preference for sharing feedback after a positive server experience reveals a greater tendency to communicate face-to-face, with 28% of diners choosing to speak directly to the server and/or manager on-site versus 22% choosing an email sent after their visit and 15% via an online review site. More Gen Z diners indicated online review sites as an ideal feedback channel after a negative (21%) or positive (34%) experience with a server.

Their survey into guest satisfaction also reveals how employee engagement directly impacts diner experience. After interacting with an engaged and positive server, more than one third (36%) of diners would spend 10% more time in a restaurant or pub and 22% would spend double this, highlighting the incremental spend opportunity to operators that get this key aspect right. Perhaps more importantly, the survey also reveals that a disengaged server would result in 27% of diners choosing not to return.

Commenting on the results, Sally Whelan, our Founding Director said“The research highlights a potential gap in the way operators are sourcing feedback from diners, with perhaps too high a dependence on online review sites and social media and less on direct channels of communication options – such as email and manager feedback – that consumers clearly value. It also reveals a trend we’ve identified across our clients, namely a positive correlation between employee engagement (ENPS) and customer satisfaction levels (NPS), which means employee engagement could be one of the keys to unlocking operator reputation and driving customer loyalty.”



Diners Appetite For Feedback Opportunities Increases, Diners Appetite For Feedback Opportunities Increases