Restaurant Surveys – Part 3: Data & Analytics

Survey data must be analyzed before restaurants can use the information. Analyzing surveys involves five steps: validating, partitioning, coding, standard analyzing and ordinal and nominal analyzing.

  1. Data Validation
    Restaurants can validate data by ensuring that questionnaires are completed, verifying identification data or using test questions to determine inconsistent answers. If customers don’t finish the survey or skip answers, an analysis of the number of respondents who didn’t answer the same questions could reveal that they were confusing or inappropriate.
  2. Dividing Surveys in Subgroups
    Using subgroups makes the analysis easier and prevents comparing apples to oranges. For example, testing how mothers feel about a delivery service would be invalid for people who aren’t mothers. Subgrouping the data allows comparisons in the responses of men and women and customers with different demographic profiles.
  3. Coding
    Before studying the data, it must be coded or filtered into open-ended and closed-ended questions and assigned values for charts, graphs and lists.
  4. Standard Analysis
    Numerical data is easy to understand because data can be converted with straightforward equations, such as how many people answered yes, no or maybe.
  5. Ordinal and Nominal Data
    These types of data require using a different method of analysis. Ordinal data require converting some of the terms like strongly agree and strongly disagree into numerical equivalents based on the number of choices. Nominal data include open-ended questions, and someone should probably view these responses manually to get actionable information.

Using Google Analytics

Restaurateurs who use a consultant or partner for preparing their surveys can usually get a full array of graphs, charts and tools to analyze results. However, managers can use Google Analytics to get useful information from in-house surveys. Google Analytics allows study of the answers to survey questions and respondent’s survey-taking behavior on the website, such as how long people spend on each question and whether they moved around on the website while taking the survey.

Using Google’s integration code at the bottom of each page of a survey allows managers to treat the survey folder just like the rest of the website in a Google Analytics account. Managers can initiate reports, generate graphs and charts and test variations of landing pages for surveys and survey content. The procedure for enabling this function in a Google Analytics account works as follows:

  • Disable the Mobile Theme Optimization option.
  • Use the code snippets that Google provides to customers when they open a Google Analytics account.
  • Place the code at the bottom of each page of the website and survey and at the top of the survey’s HTML template.
  • Consult Google Analytics for more details about identifying each page of the survey and creating a unique name for each survey.

Analytics Revelations

Data analysis of surveys and survey-taking behavior can help managers plan better marketing campaigns, change restaurant policies and menus and identify optimal times to send texts, emails and incentives. Social data can help a restaurant get more out of social media and leverage greater benefits by supporting trends and causes that resonate with customers. Actionable intelligence helps managers and owners make accurate and safe decisions that drive restaurant profitability in a highly competitive industry.

Surveys provide a perfect method for gauging trends, restaurant performance and customer likes and dislikes. Restaurants can use surveys in-house through comment cards and restaurant receipts or use digital signs to offer incentives for getting customers to take short surveys in-house or online. Sure, some people hate surveys, but others appreciate the opportunity to express their opinions. Use surveys strategically, keep them short and design each questionnaire with specific goals in mind to get the best results.