"Wright added that although it was difficult to measure the direct impact of the electronic surveys, the real-time access to detailed server and restaurant performance information provided by the system is paving the way for enhanced service.
"Servers, grill staff and managers know they are accountable for their performance, and they act on that," he said. "Just as significantly, we can praise employees as well as coach them on a more individual level to address certain issues. For example, if we see from a report that a server isn't consistently offering dessert before dropping the check or that grill staff aren't interacting with customers, we can ask why and try to change these behaviors."
Sources at BD's said the chain was benefiting from a programmable "alert" feature in The Informant system. That capability means that managers are notified immediately whenever a guest indicates in the electronic survey that he or she does not plan to patronize the operation again or has never dined there before. Notification is made through a wireless radio paging system.
"The alert affords managers a chance to go to first-timers' tables to establish real rapport with them and give them an extra nudge to come back," Wright said. "And when there's a problem, we can address it right there, hopefully salvaging the customer and the relationship"
WaiterBell Angle: The electionic comment cards provide the restaurant information and opportunities to address issues in service quality, as well as strengthen customer relationships. While the Informant works after the meal, the WaiterBell system allows the restaurant to address service quality during the dining experience as it is happening.