July 27, 2023

Public vs. Private Feedback: The 3 Differences No One Talks About

tinku saini tarka indian kitchen quote

When it comes to guest feedback, many restaurant brands and executives believe either one of two things. One, that they have to make a choice between utilizing public or private feedback. Or two, that there’s really no difference.

Both of those beliefs are wrong.

Public and private feedback are fundamentally different with only superficial similarities, not the other way around. Additionally, it’s not a choice of either/or – restaurants require both forms of feedback if they genuinely want to improve operations, satisfaction, and revenue.

Now, let’s dive into those pivotal differences and see how restaurants really should utilize each.

1. Sales-focused vs. Operations-focused

The sales vs. operations focus is the most foundational difference between the two types of feedback.

Public feedback sites, such as Yelp and Google, are digital storefronts that work to turn prospective customers into actual customers. These drive revenue.

Private feedback solutions, such as Tattle, are digital comment cards that enable stores to capture and analyze detailed insights regarding the customer experience. These drive improvement.

While there is overlap in the fact that both garner input from customers, the intent is markedly different. Restaurants require public and private feedback for a well-rounded approach to sales and sentiment.

“With Tattle, we can investigate issues because every location and time stamp is included in the feedback submission. We aren’t just getting negative, random reviews on social media any more.” Maya Pocock, Marketing Specialist at Starbird Chicken

2. Extremes vs. Level-set

Naturally, if restaurants do not solicit private feedback from customers, the only place for them to discuss their experience is on a public forum.

This is why you see extreme highs and extreme lows on Yelp and Google. The strong emotional response to a great or horrific experience pushes guests to write a five-star or one-star review in haste.

On the other hand, private feedback surveys do not discriminate. These are sent to every customer through integrations with POS, ordering, and loyalty platforms (you can see Tattle’s integrations here). This eliminates the extremes, allowing your brand to get a much more accurate and level-set view of your overall guest sentiment.

But how do these two types of feedback work in tandem?

It’s simple. Private feedback allows those emotional responses to be funneled through an organized survey and into an internal dashboard, ultimately protecting the reputation of your online presence.

“In terms of reputation management, I love that Tattle allows me to mitigate negative social media reviews and encourage positive reviews on Google and Yelp. Giving guests a sounding board right after their experience allows them to feel heard without needing to post on public forums.” Tinku Saini, CEO and Co-Founder of Tarka Indian Kitchen

3. Unstructured vs. Structured

A private feedback platform like Tattle will not only intercept those negative reviews, but it will also ensure the final result isn’t a thousand-word rant – which is pervasive across social media.

With the causation-based surveys Tattle provides, you can break down your operations into categories (ex. food quality, order accuracy, speed of service, etc.) and sub-categories (ex. Within food quality, measuring temperature, taste, texture, flavor, etc.), having the customer score each one (it sounds like it’s a lot to ask, but a stunning 94% of guests who start these surveys end up finishing it!).

This ensures the feedback data remains actionable, organized, and able to be easily visualized in a dashboard such as Tattle’s.

On public channels like Yelp and Google, restaurant visitors looking to leave a review are greeted with a single text box – there is no framework that guides their response. As you can see, this could be a dangerous thing if private feedback weren’t acting as a filter.

In this process where these two work together, the operators no longer have to comb through hundreds of public-facing reviews for some helpful tidbits, but can see all of their areas of improvement in a centralized hub made possible by private feedback.

What’s great about Tattle is that it gives you the when, where, what. And that’s the level of detail one can’t find on Google, Yelp, or social media reviews – scanning through which felt more like looking for a needle in the haystack.” Jim Bitticks, President & COO Dave’s Hot Chicken


The value a private feedback platform can bring to restaurant brands is tremendous – it can smooth out the rough areas of Yelp and Google and build on the strong points.

All of your operational insights and store performance monitoring can be moved away from public channels, freeing up more time and energy for operators than ever before and enabling full visibility into your guest experience.

“Tattle has added a lot of meat on the bones for us as far as what we need to do, where we’re falling down, where we have opportunities, and what we’re doing well. You can’t gain these things from social media.” said Mike Pisani, Vice President of Operations at Robeks

If you’re looking to collect private insights and improve your restaurants, click here to get a full rundown of the Tattle platform, or see the demo video below!

Want more?

Watch a rapid demo of the Tattle platform!

Nicole Video Demo Still