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How to Choose the Right Feedback System for Your Restaurant | Superorder

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March 15, 2024

A Guide to Choosing the Right Restaurant Feedback Software

The restaurant industry lives and dies by customer feedback. Your reputation is everything, and it's important to prioritize the customer experience to maximize sales, achieve growth and adjust to the ever-changing needs of consumers. The industry is fast-paced, and diners have more options than ever before. The ticket to long-term success is using feedback to understand people's thoughts and utilizing that insight to make improvements that count.

In the past, the only way to know what customers thought of a restaurant's menu, customer service and overall dining experience was by using old-school comment boxes. Fortunately, those days are over, and restaurateurs like you have access to innovative technologies that make gathering valuable customer feedback a breeze.

But there's one hurdle to overcome first: How do you choose the right feedback system? In this blog, you'll learn about the types of systems available and how to select the perfect option for your restaurant.

Understanding Your Restaurant's Needs

Guest feedback is a powerful thing, and it can come in many forms. Whether you're a small business or run a huge operation with multiple locations, you must understand your customer feedback strategy to determine what restaurant feedback systems you will benefit from most.

Take some time to truly understand what you plan to do with feedback and how you'll turn your customers' needs into actions that improve your restaurant. Then, consider what opinions will have the most weight.

For example, cloud kitchens and delivery-only establishments might focus more on menu quality and the online food ordering experience. Meanwhile, sit-down venues will need to consider the wider dining experience, including customer service, ambiance, the quality of menu items and more.

As a business owner, you should be willing to accept all forms of feedback. But understanding what details are most important to your operations and the overall dining experience for your patrons can help you hone in on systems that provide insights that count.

There are many different methods for collecting, managing and analyzing feedback. Understanding your restaurant's unique needs will make it easier to choose systems that allow you to put that feedback to good use on your journey to improving your star rating, attracting new potential customers and growing your business.

Types of Feedback Systems

Restaurants can employ countless different methods to gather valuable customer feedback. Traditionally, the go-to was to hand out comment cards or questionnaires with every order. Some establishments take a modern approach by providing digital feedback forms on tablets that customers can complete while waiting on orders. While those techniques still work, there are more efficient alternatives that make giving feedback a better experience for your patrons.

For example, many restaurants send email surveys, employ pop-up online surveys within their mobile apps or print QR codes on receipts and flyers that direct customers to digital feedback forms. Strategically timing these requests for feedback can improve buy-in from customers. You can catch happy customers when they're more receptive to providing insight and give unhappy patrons an outlet to leave their thoughts before publishing negative reviews elsewhere.

These digital methods can help you gather reviews and comments in real-time. But they're not the only place to see negative and positive reviews. You must also consider third-party sources of customer feedback.

There are also comments on social media platforms and dedicated review sites like Yelp to consider. Several platforms for online reviews of restaurants exist, and the comments you find on those sites should be an integral part of your customer feedback strategy.

A great feedback system can make managing the many sources of reviews and opinions much easier. The best options will help with two main hurdles that restaurant owners must overcome to put feedback to good use: Collection and analysis.

With so many sources of reviews, praise and criticism, it can be tough to see the bigger picture. Therefore, you need a feedback collection system that can aggregate comments from multiple sources. That includes comments on social media channels, mobile apps, review sites, third-party delivery platforms and more. Aggregating those comments in one place can consolidate your review process and streamline your operations.

Then, there's analysis. You might receive hundreds of comments and reviews throughout a single week of business. Do you have time to read each one? While you might want to read individual comments, the best feedback systems will use advanced technology to analyze your customers' needs and turn them into insights that lead to improvement.

Your job is to train staff, implement positive change and prioritize the customer experience. With the right feedback system, you can save time sifting through individual comments and skip straight to the valuable insights you need.

Features to Consider

Feedback systems can come with many features that benefit your restaurant business. But what features should you look for? We've already covered two of the most important.

The best way to gather and analyze feedback is to have a system that does everything for you. Choose systems that encourage and incentivize your patrons to provide their thoughts, likes and dislikes. Systems can send surveys and reminders at the right time to maximize buy-in, and you can provide incentives like discounts or a free meal to encourage participation.

Aggregation features should also be a top feature. There's nothing more time-consuming than having to log into every website and review platform for insight. Having a system that collects all those comments for you can make managing reviews much easier. Comprehensive data analysis features are the icing on the cake, allowing you to quickly view customers' thoughts and identify improvements you can make now.

Other features you should consider include automatic responses and reputation management. Responding to comments will greatly benefit your business. That engagement shows customers that you care about their dining experience and are actively involved in making improvements that count.

But the reality is that responding to every single positive or negative review is impossible. The best feedback system will implement technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to reply to comments for you.

Some systems can also alert you to bad reviews, allowing you to respond promptly to manage your reputation. Negative experiences happen. Even the best-reviewed restaurants get negative reviews. What matters is that you engage with those customers to take control and protect your reputation.

Integration with Existing Systems

Simple integration is a big deal in the restaurant industry. Your operations are fast-paced, and jumping from one system to another will waste time and reduce productivity. When searching for the best feedback system for your restaurant, focus on options that can integrate into your existing tech infrastructure.

That means choosing systems that integrate with your existing restaurant management platform. All-in-one platforms are a game-changer for restaurants. Having one place to manage operations, orders, finances, reviews and more will streamline operations in more ways than you could imagine.

Budget and Cost Considerations

Of course, we can't ignore the costs of implementing a survey and feedback system. New software can be a major expense, and you might have recurring subscription costs to consider on top of initial setup fees and onboarding. You might have opportunities to test systems with free trials, but you'll need to pay for the full experience.

Consider your budget and choose options that are manageable long-term. To get the most out of feedback systems, they must be in place for as long as possible. The longer you use them, the better you understand customers' needs. Fortunately, great systems are available to give you all the features and insights you need without breaking the bank.

Reputation and Reliability of Providers

Don't forget to dig into the provider's reputation. Feedback systems are a long-term investment, so you should work with providers with a successful track record. Nothing is worse than needing support and discovering that your provider is missing in action. The last thing you want is for providers to drop support, abandon the platform or refuse to give you the level of service you deserve.

Do your due diligence and choose providers with a solid reputation.

Customization and Branding Options

When it comes time to send feedback forms that help you learn more about the customer experience, branding and customization make all the difference. You want surveys to be an extension of your restaurant's brand. Sending unrecognizable links and boring forms will make your patrons less keen on leaving their feedback. They might get suspicious about a QR code's authenticity or think the information they provide goes to a nameless third-party corporation.

Choose a feedback system that gives you all the customization options you need. Stick to your branding and make leaving feedback an enjoyable experience.

Data Security and Privacy

Unfortunately, data breaches and security issues are far too common in business. Even small business owners can become targets of cybercriminals looking to steal personal and business data.

Don't let your customer feedback systems put your business at risk. Always research a platform's security measures. Look for comprehensive security technologies and full encryption, especially if the platform operates via the cloud. The system you choose should have measures in place to protect your data and the data of your customers.

Scalability and Future Growth

Finally, think about your restaurant's future. Ideally, the feedback system you choose will allow you to turn valuable customer feedback into improvements that benefit your business. That's the ultimate goal, so you'll need to pick a platform capable of growing as your restaurant does.

Consider a system's scalability. Can it accommodate an increasing number of reviews? Will it keep up the pace as you attract more customers? Systems are useless if they can't follow your growth momentum. Feedback still matters as you climb the rungs of restaurant success, so choose a scalable system that can grow with you.

Making the Final Decision

There are many things to consider when choosing a feedback system for your restaurant. Keep the factors we mentioned above in mind as you shop around. Explore your options and take advantage of free trials.

Think about what's most important to your business and how your restaurant can benefit from customer feedback. Develop your feedback strategy and choose an option that supports it.

Get Started With Superorder Today

If you're searching for restaurant feedback software, check out Superorder. Superorder is an all-in-one restaurant management platform built for your success. The feedback and customer survey features are revolutionary, making it easier than ever to gather opinions and gain valuable insights that matter. Superorder can also aggregate reviews from third-party apps and platforms, use AI to respond to reviews and more!

When you're ready to foster real change in your business and take charge of your restaurant's reputation, Superorder has what you need to get there. Get started today to learn more and see how Superorder can help your restaurant grow.

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