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Identifying Service Problems

A leading family-style restaurant was experiencing declining sales in one region of the country. We designed a Lost/Lapsed customer study to identify the problems. In developing the study, we detailed and grouped all issues that could be affecting sales into macro issues (price, food quality, décor, service, preference for competition); then, we further dissected each issue into actionable problems/issues.

We asked customers who felt they would not return to the restaurant to rate the impact of macro issues on their unwillingness to return. For the issues impacting each respondent, we drilled down to have them rate the negative impact of specific issues within each macro area.

Results indicated that the client had very favorable ratings on price/value and convenient locations, that the overall category was declining, and that competitors were preferred. The preference for competition was driven by dissatisfaction with specific aspects of service, atmosphere/décor and food quality. Problems were identified in a way that provided guidance for a multi-phased action plan.

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