A new, easier to read report will ensure licensees learn more from mystery guests visits and, rather than the same approach for all, the focus will be on the pubs that will benefit most from the feedback.
It means pubs can hone in on what they are doing well as well as what they may need to change, to improve their offer to paying guests, making it a tool to help them grow their business versus a traditional audit score approach.
Greene King Pub Partners has worked with HospitalityGEM to produce a guide for licensees on how to interpret the new reports and use them to improve their business in true partnership.
Pubs are marked on product range, environment, service, communication and price using a red/amber/green dashboard system and results are aggregated into an overall visit score.
Clive Chesser, managing director of Greene King Pub Partners, said: “For our licensees to maximise the value of a mystery guest programme honesty is the best policy. Through Hospitality GEM, we are providing licensees with much deeper feedback than before about their pubs because the devil is in the detail.
“We are certain our licensees will embrace the high quality of the feedback and work on improving their overall scores for any future visits. We are delighted to be teaming up with HospitalityGEM because we know how thorough they are and the diligence with which they go about their work.”
A mystery guest’s evaluation work starts before they have even arrived by finding the pub’s online presence and seeing how clear and up-to-date it is. It progresses through the whole guest journey, evaluating everything from first impressions, team behaviours and the ordering process for food and drink.
The reports present how the pub performs in impressive detail, using a range of questions based on standards and best practice in the sector, including whether they were asked to set up a tab, if glassware was chip-free and even that any background music was set at the right level.
The in-depth nature of HospitalityGEM’s reports works well for entrepreneurs running their own businesses, providing a deep analysis of the guest experience.
Steven Pike, managing director of HospitalityGEM, said: “We have enjoyed working with Greene King Pub Partners to take their clear strategic objectives and frame the guest experience that they would like to help licensees to achieve.
“We have felt like a partner, rather than a supplier, and this adds to our determination to continually evolve the programme as a useful resource to pubs and area managers.
“The quality and usefulness of our work is everything to us. We look forward to growing our relationship with Greene King Pub Partners and to playing our part to helping them to stand out on the high street.”
Sean Driscoll, licensee of the Masons Arms pub in Bury St Edmunds who has already made use of the service, said: “We have had our first survey with HospitalityGEM and I did notice it was a bit more thorough and detailed than we have got before.
“I was quite happy with the report we got and not just because we scored well. It is good that Greene King is funding this for operators as it is a good barometer for what the pub is doing, and it puts the staff on their toes a bit.
“Sometimes the biggest things which come up are the simple things, like not upselling. It was pointed out the staff did not ask about guests wanting desserts or coffees as they took the meal plates away. Nine times out of ten people may say ‘no’, but you always have to ask.
“I think the information provided is very useful and positive and from my point of view, not being in the pub all the time, it gives me a bit of insight into what happens when I’m not there.”