Three Pillars for Actionable Customer Feedback

February 10th, 2021

Catering management is all about your customers. It’s about delivering a stellar dining experience, but also about showing management you’re the right choice. Thus, understanding peoples’ experiences is critical.

There are plenty of solutions in the market that can help you capture customer feedback. What they don’t do is give you clarity. Do you really need a bunch of bar charts, Gantt charts, or line charts with a million axes? What are they actually telling you? And more importantly, can you write a to-do list from reading these charts?

Here are the three pillars for measuring and acting on catering service feedback.

The Key Indicator

Customer experience experts like to throw around terms like Net Promoter Score or Likert Scales. It’s easy to get lost in the conversation, and feeling like everybody knows something you don’t.

Cut through the noise and ask yourself the following: What would help me prove that I am doing a good job? What would help me know exactly what I need to do?

There are a few aspects to this. First, consider the size of your operation. If you’re running a small cafeteria with a lunch and dinner service, you’re probably better off asking people directly about their experience, whether in-person or through comment cards.

But of course, if you’re managing a multi-location operation, there’s no way to interview each and every person at your location. You’ll need some sort of quantifiable indicator not only to gauge satisfaction in individual locations but also to compare locations against each other.

Another aspect to this question is what management wants. Is there a specific indicator that management uses to evaluate you directly? What do they themselves use to measure feedback in other parts of the business?

Here are some indicators that you may care about as a catering manager. Choosing one of these will give you the clarity you need to track catering service feedback:

  • NPS for easily gauging multi-location customer feedback.

  • Smiley feedback scale for measuring real-time customer satisfaction.

  • Comments from a suggestion box, or just asking people directly.

Actionable Charts

With so many feedback solutions out there, you’ll find any chart imaginable. But how digestible is the format? Can you read the chart and immediately come up with a to-do list?

Take this chart for example:

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This chart represents the daily breakdown of smiley feedback over a two-week period. You’ll notice that January 13th was particularly negative, with the day before being quite a positive day. You can then jot down a to-do list item to investigate what happened on the 13th.

What about this chart?

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If you don’t understand what you’re looking at, you’re not alone -- because we can’t understand it ourselves! Gathering data is great, but make sure you can view it in a way that helps you create actionable items from it.


You want to do what you do best, which is to provide an unparalleled catering experience. You also want to make sure you’re addressing negative feedback and highlighting the positive. But yeah, you’re not a superhero -- you can’t do everything at once.

But here’s the next best thing. There are solutions that help you automate the entire feedback process. You can avoid having to look at charts all day -- and actually focus on providing the best dining service.

Here are just a few examples:

  • OMBEA collects feedback data from multiple sources and presents them in a single place. While there are simple charts you can take a look at, OMBEA analyzes that data and produces a to-do list on how to increase customer satisfaction.

  • The OMBEA Anywhere Module helps you have conversations with customers. When someone is giving negative feedback, the system can give you a real-time alert so that you can contact the person right away. If someone leaves positive feedback, OMBEA Insights can ask them if they’d like to post their comments as an online review.


Taking action on customer satisfaction is based on your indicator, your charts, and how much you automate. Figuring out how the three pillars apply to your catering operation will give you clarity, but more importantly, will invite you to take action.

How will you implement the three pillars?

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