Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Importance of Surveys

Seems like everyone these days has those surveys.  I went to three places the other day, and every single one of them gave me a survey to fill out “if I had the time”.  You know the ones I’m talking about…sometimes you get a free sandwich, or even $5 off of your next purchase.  Sometimes you don’t get anything at all for doing them.  I’m going to tell you why you should.

1 – These surveys actually help the establishment.  The surveys tell them what exactly they did right, or wrong, or what they might need improvement on (when the person who takes the survey takes it seriously of course).  I know it’s tempting to just fill out the survey when you had an awful experience or a really remarkable one, but even if you just had an average visit and your server asks you to fill out the survey, please do!  Not only will the server know what they might need improvement on, the survey may ask other things relating to your visit, i.e. the quality of the food, the cleanliness of the restaurant, the atmosphere itself, etc.  This affects the restaurant in its entirety, not just the person who served you.  By filling out the survey, if a noticeable amount of people complained about one thing or praised another, they might consider changing the way things are run to satisfy a larger audience.  And, it helps your server out too, because…

2 – Your server needs those surveys filled out.  Their hours/shifts may depend on it.  There are some places that the power of the survey reigns supreme.  If X server gets Y surveys, they might have a better selection of shifts, or better hours to work.  And it takes the heat off of the restaurant entirely too, because…

3 – The higher-ups also depend on the surveys.  And may have a required amount for each district to have submitted.  When that amount isn’t met, the boss’ boss’ boss is sure to hear about it.  Then the boss’ boss will hear about it.  Then the boss will hear about it.  Then eeeeeeverrryyyyonnnneeeee at that location will hear about it, even if they’ve met the required amount.  Sometimes this means even raising the “budget” of required surveys to have filled out, thus recreating the vicious cycle of servers drawing smiley-faces and stars and throwing confetti over the check so you will notice the survey and hopefully fill it out because they just got their schedule the way they like it and they don’t want to lose it.

4 – It’s just a nice thing to do.  Even if you had the most crappy visit, you’re still benefiting the restaurant by filling out the survey.  Think about it: if you had a really terrible server, you wouldn’t want someone else to get that same server right?  You tell your friends, they tell their friends, etc.  But, that doesn’t fix the original issue, does it?  By filling out the survey, you’re not only letting the server know that they did a bad job, but you’re also letting the server’s manager know (if you didn’t already let him/her know while you were at the restaurant).  Then, corrective action can be taken, i.e. retraining, write-ups, or even termination.

On the flip side of that, you had one of the best servers you’ve ever had.  Sometimes just pulling the manager aside and telling him/her that your server did a great job is not enough.  Honest!  It’s not!  I can’t tell you how many credit card receipts that I have gotten that had written on the top “SW was a great server!” or “SW was attentive” or once I even got “SW was the highlight of my day” (really trying to not toot my own horn, just trying to make a point).  In addition, they also told my manager or told the host on the way out.  But do you know who didn’t know that I did a great job?  My boss’ boss.  Because it wasn’t on a blasted survey.

Again, even if you had a mediocre experience, filling out the survey lets everyone know what to work on so that way they can aim higher next time.

I’m gonna go get those three surveys out of my wallet now, and do someone some good.

Cheers,
SW