Case Study

Leveraging Customer Feedback as the Leading Indicator of Issues or Success

How Dave’s Hot Chicken deploys an operation-focused feedback strategy that fuels a 500% growth within a year.

Sales is only a lagging indicator of success, not a leading indicator — unlike Tattle scores.

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INDUSTRY

Fast Casual

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INTEGRATION

Olo, Punchh, Revel

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LOCATIONS

61

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PARTNER SINCE

2019

The Challenge

Using customer satisfaction as the “north star” of store performances.

After helping Blaze Pizza grow from two to 350+ locations as Chief Restaurant Officer, Jim Bitticks joined Dave’s Hot Chicken as President and Chief Operating Officer. And he knew right away that this brand, similar to Blaze Pizza, needed to implement Tattle to accurately measure customer sentiments at each location, and to detect potential problems early on as they embarked on a journey of rapid expansion.

Following his successful customer feedback management strategy at Blaze Pizza, Jim rolled out Tattle across all Dave’s Hot Chicken locations with the following goals in mind:

  • Pinpointing issues with specific transactional data, so the leadership team can hold locations accountable and move quickly to resolve problems
  • Address complaints early before negative reviews surface online
  • Prompt positive reviews for greater discoverability on social platforms
  • Automatically recover guests at scale
  • Resolve customer issues in real time when new locations open

In a conversation with the Tattle team, Jim gave us the lowdown on how Dave’s Hot Chicken successfully leverages Tattle to ensure an exceptional guest experience and product quality, despite being one of the fastest growing hospitality brands this year.

The Tattle Solution

Pinpointing issues with specific transactional data

“What’s great about Tattle is that it gives you the when, where, what [of each feedback submission],” Jim said. And that’s the level of details one can’t find on Google, Yelp or social media reviews, scanning through which felt more like looking for “a needle in the haystack” according to Jim.

“When it’s Tattle, I can actually find out when they came and go back to the restaurant and figure out who was on the register at 8:55pm last night,” Jim said, explaining why Tattle therefore is the best tool for operations teams to trace the source of each problem in order to understand how to solve it.

Dave's Hot Chicken Tattle case study
1. Improving the order pickup process

At the franchise’s Pacific Beach location, there were multiple negative reviews from customers and delivery drivers about the confusing pickup process. Soon after, the corporate office sent operations teams and franchise consultants to help them design the pickup signs, as well as reconfigure the setup of the pickup location. This effectively stopped additional complaints from coming in.

Furthermore, Dave’s Hot Chicken was able to preemptively roll out similar pickup setups at subsequent new locations to ensure a smooth pickup process from the get go.

2. Locating problematic products

When the Irvine location received a few anecdotal complaints about extremely salty chicken, the team struggled to locate the faulty products after multiple tastings. Given that the five online reviews about this issue provided little to no context, the team resorted to Tattle and saw not only a higher feedback volume regarding this issue, but also more specific information to help them locate the product. The team was finally able to locate the faulty bag of products and intercepted another bag with issues at a new location before it reached the hands (or mouths!) of any customer.

Using data to hold teams accountable

Equipped with unbiased metrics and data, Jim found it much easier for the leadership team to benchmark locations, attribute problems and set goals for each franchisee.

“What’s great about feedback tools like Tattle is that it allows restaurant leadership to leverage data in support of their teams,” Jim said. “They [the teams] will become very responsible of their Tattle scores.”

With the heat map feature in Tattle, operations managers can see the performance and key metric changes of each location, as well as their top improvement opportunities. In addition to setting goals and expectations for each location franchisee or general manager, it also helps the leadership team to tailor their support to teams on the ground.

It’s also easier than ever to see how engaged the staff are at each location by looking at incident statistics and timeline. This helps management teams understand if each issue is addressed based on best practices, and whether all complaints are taken care of as expected. The timeline shows every step of the interaction between the guest and team member, ensuring that communications are happening in a timely and appropriate manner.

Tattle heatmap for benchmarking locations

Resolve issues before negative reviews hit the Internet

Some studies have shown that it can take up to 40 positive reviews to undo the damage of a single bad review. It’s therefore imperative for brands to prevent negative reviews online as much as they can.

“When customers post about us online, they’ll only post about good things because we have already addressed all the negative things [after seeing them come through Tattle],” Jim said.

For brands without extra manpower to spare, Tattle can automatically address negative reviews with pre-set conditional email responses. For example, Tattle can automatically send a templated apology email to a 2-star review, or an apology email with a reward to a 1-star review. This way, your team can focus on the most urgent issues and let the system handle the rest on autopilot.

Many other brands have used this trick to recover guests at scale. For example, MOD Pizza was able to recover $11,017,440 in guest detraction with a 100% incident reply rate on Tattle.

Tattle incident management and communication with customers

Prompt positive online reviews

On the flip side of preventing negative reviews, Dave’s Hot Chicken also leverages Tattle to prompt happy customers to leave positive reviews on Google, Yelp, Tripadvisor and more. This can also be done automatically when you set a templated thank you email with a link directing the customer straight to a particular location’s Yelp page. 

“When guests leave us a positive Tattle reivew, we’ll ask them [within Tattle] to leave us a positive Yelp or Google review,” Jim said.

Reward people who leave yelp reviews in Tattle

How Tattle helps with opening new locations

Having sold the rights to over 599 franchise locations and with the plan to add 75 locations this year, Dave’s Hot Chicken is no stranger to the hecticness of a new location opening.

“When we open a new location, I’m scanning Tattle like a hawk,” Jim said. That’s because if he notices consecutive negative reviews coming in within a short span of time, that’s an early indicator of an issue that the team could potentially address immediately.

“The other day I got 3 negative reivews about pickup time longer than the promised time,” Jim said. “So I went into our ordering platform and doubled the promised time from 10 to 20 minutes. We didn’t see any more of those complaints coming in for the rest of the night.”

Research shows that being more responsive and more effective at resolving issues correlates with improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. In the increasingly competitive hospitality space, it’s more important than ever for operations teams to have processes in place to let guests feel heard and taken care of in real time.

The Results

Dave’s Hot Chicken consistently sees tens of thousands of reviews coming through Tattle on a weekly basis, and is able to accurately pinpoint the highest-impact growth opportunities at a location level. Over the past two years, Dave’s Hot Chicken has seen a consistent increase in Customer Experience Rating (CER) scores of over 20%, with a lift across all operational categories as seen below:

  • Speed of Service: 86% increase
  • Food Quality: 27% increase
  • Accuracy: 7% increase
  • Delivery Driver: 26% increase
  • Online Ordering Experience: 25% increase

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faster speed of service

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survey completion rate

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increase in satisfaction score

“We use Tattle as the early warning detection system of problems.”

Jim Bitticks

President & COO, Dave's Hot Chicken

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