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For years, restaurant workers have followed the motto “the customer is always right” and while it still rings true to this day, the way disputes are handled has shifted due to the many tools restaurants now have at their disposal. The truth is, the phrase isn’t intended to be taken literally, but customer service can make or break your business.

According to a report by New Voice Media,  poor customer service costs US retail businesses more than $75bn annually. That’s a pretty hefty price to pay for a dissatisfied customer, especially when there are actions you can take to turn that frown upside down.

In the same report, 91% of customers surveyed said they would not be willing to return to a business if an issue was left unresolved. That same group also said that if restaurants took the time to resolve disputes, they would more than likely return again, and again.

Whether you’re looking to retain a customer or acquire a new one, customer feedback and engagement tools are essential for every operator’s tech stack.


How can restaurants get critical customer feedback? The answer can be as easy as two simple questions. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measurement of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. The score is gathered through a short, 2-question survey that can tell operators a lot about how their brand is performing. Incorporating NPS into a customer success strategy can help improve consumer experience and drive revenue.

Branded Portfolio company, Ovation, was voted the #1 guest feedback platform in a nationwide survey. Ovation utilizes a 2-question, SMS-based survey, and works both on and off-premise.

Through frictionless integrations with online ordering platforms and other methods, Ovation allows restaurants to easily resolve guest concerns in real-time, get more 5-star reviews, discover insights to improve, and drive revenue.

When asked about incorporating Ovation into his business, Bill Crawford, Owner of Righteous Slice, says, “The first time we checked our custom question responses we were surprised to see so many replies from our most satisfied customers. We could clearly see themes from their comments that helped us know which products were missing from our menu and how we need to improve.”

Another leader in the NPS space is Yumpingo, also a Branded Portfolio Partner.

Yumpingo transforms real-time customer satisfaction data into performance insights, quantifying how well hospitality teams are executing against customer expectations, and defining the path to more happy customers. Yumpingo is proven to increase customer satisfaction (NPS). Their dynamic One-Minute Review engages more guests than any other provider. The review gives a voice to 99% of customers who would have otherwise been left unheard, ultimately translating happier and heard customers into scalable growth.

John Welsh, Managing Director of Hickory’s Smokehouse said, “Since rolling out Yumpingo our NPS has been steadily increasing and is now 14 points higher; which means 11% more happy guests! We’ve also seen our online reputation scores climbing from 4.3 to an excellent 4.7 stars. And we have seen a direct link between NPS and sales growth. Yumpingo has helped give us the confidence to make changes to our guest journey, our menus, our training and get a genuine feel for what our guests think of those changes.”


These days, customer engagement has never been more important, which is why having a loyalty program is no longer a nice to have but a need to have. The numbers speak for themselves.

According to this survey, 76% of customers believe that loyalty programs strengthen their relationship with brands. 37.5% of customers join loyalty programs to earn rewards, 57% of customers join because they want to save money, and 50% of customers say they would change their behavior to attain a higher tier of the customer loyalty program.

Branded’s Portfolio Company, Spendgo is a loyalty and customer engagement platform designed to serve restaurants and retailers nationwide.

Spendgo gives businesses the omnichannel marketing tools to successfully engage, retain, and incentivize customers while seamlessly integrating with any POS system & online platform. Typically, brands using Spendgo see 12x more sign-ups, a 92% reward redemption rate with a system that can be fully functional in less than 30 days

“Spendgo has transformed customer engagement in DRNK & QWENCH stores. The rewards are easy to access, so people are excited to come back and buy from us again.”  – Amir Atighehchi, VP of Strategic Growth at QWENCH juice bar and DRNK coffee + tea.

Customer loyalty programs increase revenue and engagement and can help restaurants increase customer retention, especially in the long term.  A well-designed and implemented loyalty program can be highly impactful. When consumers feel like they have a stake in the company and that their patronage is genuinely appreciated, they are more likely to return again and again.

Incentivio, a Branded Partner, is the only restaurant digital platform that operates across the web, mobile and in-store channels to help restaurants acquire new customers, drive visits and spending, increase loyalty and engagement, reduce cost and drive incremental revenue.

By combining online ordering and white-label restaurant apps with loyalty, gift cards, machine learning upsells, CDP analytics, a data-driven marketing suite, and guest journey management, Incentivio gives operators a powerful system to build relationships with their guests and drive digital revenue.

Hot Table, a fast-growing franchise, wanted a customer loyalty experience that was on-brand and seamless. By partnering with Incentivio,  Hot Table was able to grow its loyalty membership by 80%, while doubling its mobile and web digital order volume within eight months.

President of Hot Table, John DeVoie says, “Within a year, we have seen an almost 300% return on our investment in Incentivio. With our cutting-edge Point of Sale system and a comprehensive digital guest experience platform in Incentivio, I think we’re well positioned to continue to thrive in this age of digital disruption in the restaurant industry.”

Final thought: Customer feedback leads to customer engagement. Research shows that engaged customers are 56% more likely to visit their casual dining restaurant every month and 28% are more likely to visit their favorite fast food restaurant. Customer engagement equals returning customers and repeat business. These days restaurants need to stay engaged to stay open.