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Instant Gratification

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A new entrant in the Indian market, Engage! Instant Feedback software, designed by British company Luxury Academy, is making inroads in India‘s food and beverage market. Paul Russell, Director – Training, Luxury Academy, shares details with Tripti Bisht

How does the concept of real time restaurant feedback work?

Quantifiable feedback is very difficult to obtain in restaurants. Many restaurants have tried the comment card route, where they give a small card to the customer with their bill and ask for feedback. However, in the current tech-savvy age, very few of us write anymore, so the thought of putting pen to paper for many customers is  not comforting at all.

We live in an age of instant gratification and the Engage! Instant Feedback System is just that – it’s instant.  Once the customer requests the bill, the waiter brings a tablet with the bill and presents it to the customer.  There is a star grading between 1 and 5 and 4 questions related to the dining experience to be rated between 1 and 10.  Being available on a tablet, there is an immediate increase in interest levels for providing the feedback. According to our research for London, 88 percent of people completed the survey.

The gathered feedback is then fed into a reports dashboard in the backend that can be accessed daily to determine how well the restaurant is performing in context of customer satisfaction. From the dashboard, one can also post the customer comments to social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. One of the added advantage of Engage! is that while gathering feedback, you also build an important marketing database of customers at the same time.

For the moment Engage! will provide only real time feedback, but if there is a demand for additional features like tracking employee time, attendance records, work schedules, and performance data, etc, we will definitely explore the opportunity in the future.

What does the software cost?

The licence fee for the software is Rs 2,500 per month across the formats and there is a per survey cost of Rs 10.  Tablets cost Rs 14,000 each, but restaurants can use their own tablets if they wish. Restaurants can decide the number of tablets, but we recommend at least  two to begin with. The only difference in price comes  in when a company is part of a group, so there are group discounts and volume discounts.

Our software is suitable for all formats but some restaurants may want to use it differently from others. For example, a fine dine restaurant may not want to give its customers a tablet and may prefer to use the QR Code system that is integrated into Engage!.  With Engage! you can print the QR Code specific to your restaurant onto a card or onto your bill paper and people can scan it with their mobile phone, redirecting them  to the feedback page. You can also set up a direct weblink to your feedback and share it with people, publish it on your website or use it in e-mails or on business cards. It’s important that the restaurant has a strong and consistent WiFi signal as the system is Cloud-based and needs a signal to operate.

How much time and money does the software save as compared to other traditional methods?

The time saved really depends on what the restaurants have in place at the moment, for example, a manual comment card system will require someone to input all the details onto a spreadsheet and this can take around 2.5 hours a month. With Engage! everything is automatically compiled and collated in the backend dashboard. Manual systems are also very difficult to structure into readable and user-friendly reports. It can be difficult to really drill down to the information and get an overall sense of your company’s customer experience at your establishment. Engage! does all this for you.

What are your future plans in terms of technology innovation for Indian restaurants?

At the moment, our aim is to introduce Engage! to the market and make it the must-have customer feedback software for the hospitality industry. We have initiated talks with a number of Indian restaurants, all of whom cover a broad spectrum of the service categories, and people are excited. Engage! is new across the world so as yet it is still in the client acquisition stage.  The Restaurant Industry is a new market that we are just entering, however, our training arm, Luxury Academy, works with a number of high profile hotels in the UK and USA.

As a company, we are always innovating and noticing gaps in the market, which we can fill. One of the projects we currently have in the development stage is a beverage inventory system that takes advantage of mobile technology to eliminate the need for manual stock counting, thus reducing human error and pilferage.