A&W Canada Gets in the Loop with Guests to Improve Satisfaction and Real-time Operations

Loop® Mobile Engagement App, Live In-Store Scoreboard, and Kiosk, by Benbria® Corporation, drives 15 percent guest use rate due to speed and ease of use

Ottawa, Ontario – October 21, 2013 – A&W Food Services of Canada, Inc. (TSE: AW.UN) is improving guest satisfaction with Loop™ by Benbria®. As part of an ongoing initiative to maximize the guest experience, A&W Canada deployed a more sophisticated method of engaging with dine-in, take-out and drive-thru customers – and acting on their insights, requests and comments in real-time.

“We were looking for a solution that would make the process of providing insight fast and simple for our guests,” said Nancy Wuttunee, Senior Director Operating Excellence, A&W Canada. “Our store managers and staff also needed the ability to monitor and act on satisfaction levels in real-time during each guest visit and be able to take the necessary steps operationally to get the ratings back to our high standards.”

A&W considered several options to address their requirements, including commercially available survey systems, however, they did not provide the level of real-time, location-based operational sophistication required for collecting specific guest comments on the quality of food, service and facilities, and closing the feedback loop on them immediately – preferably while the guest was still in the restaurant.

Loop™ helped A&W meet this challenge by giving guests the ability to quickly and easily rate their satisfaction levels in three seconds or less based on three key questions: Was your meal delicious? Were we fast and friendly? Were the facilities clean? Guests are given two different methods for providing their Loop satisfaction ratings, depending on the nature of their restaurant visit. In-store, take-out and drive-thru guests can enter their Loop ratings on a mobile web-based app. In-store guests also have the ability to enter their Loop ratings on an iPad located at a kiosk in the restaurant. “As part of our multi-channel strategy, these kiosks are an optional component of the Loop solution that we decided to invest in to make sure our guests had more than one option for entering their ratings,” added Wuttunee.

Another unique and powerful feature of the Loop solution is its live electronic scoreboard, which gives restaurant staff real-time visibility into guest satisfaction metrics. Loop gives staff the ability to watch the counts go up in each category instantaneously as guests enter their Loop ratings. “Our experience to date shows that this kind of instant and live guest insight is instrumental in motivating our staff to improve the guest experience in real-time while creating a deeper personal connection between our staff and customers,” Wuttunee said.

“From an operational perspective, the live scoreboard gives A&W staff a huge advantage in terms of agility and responsiveness,” said Ronald Richardson, Co-Founder and Vice President of Sales, Benbria. “If at any time staff members notice an uptick in negative ratings in one or more categories, then they can immediately investigate potential causes and take the appropriate corrective action.”

To date, more than 15% of A&W customers are using Loop to provide valuable input, a rate that is fifteen times higher than standard industry metrics. Response rates tend to be higher when the scoreboard is made visible to guests, suggesting that transparency and an awareness of being measured adds an important element of gamification to the process that makes guests more likely to participate.

Loop also gives A&W customers the option of commenting on specific aspects of their restaurant experience. Loop immediately relays guest comments to the restaurant manager, who is notified by text or email and can access the messages on a mobile device or computer and respond immediately – in effect closing the Loop with the customer to ensure their satisfaction.

While Loop distinguishes itself operationally in its ability to collect, display and direct actionable customer experience data in real time to staff, it also gives managers the ability to view detailed metrics over a specific time period, such as a shift, a day or a week. This at-a-glance “heat map” view is a critical tool for helping managers to identify specific periods when ratings were unusually high or unusually low.  Managers can use this data to help identify the causes behind guest experience variations and devise strategies to replicate success and improve on weak results.

“During a recent review of the heat map reports at an A&W location, we noticed that there were service and food quality problems on Wednesdays than on any other day,” said Wuttunee. “Taking a closer look at this situation revealed that we had often been short-staffed on Wednesdays, which explained the pattern we noticed. When we increased the staff on Wednesdays, we immediately saw a corresponding improvement on the heat map. The up-to-the-second guest insight that Loop provides us on the quality of food, service and facilities has helped us to boost quality and productivity on a daily basis.”

A&W Food Services of Canada, Inc.
A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. (TSE: AW.UN) is the nation’s second largest hamburger restaurant company with 790 locations coast-to-coast. A&W Food Services of Canada is 100 per cent Canadian owned and is one of the strongest brand names in the Canadian foodservice industry. A&W Restaurants feature famous trade-marked menu items such as The Burger Family®, Chubby Chicken®, and A&W Root Beer®. For more information, please visit awbetterbeef.ca.

About Benbria 
Benbria is leading in the area of mobile customer engagement enabling retail, hospitality and restaurant brands to deliver a superior customer experience that goes above and beyond their competitors. Using a variety of mobile, in-store and on-property technologies – including SMS, email, Web, mobile app and kiosk – Loop™ enables brands to capture and direct real-time customer requests, concerns, suggestions and positive input to management and employees for action and closure. Closing the loop through on-the-spot staff action helps brands to quickly enhance the customer experience during visits, recover dissatisfied customers, improve in-store sales conversion rates, avoid online criticisms and foster positive reviews. For more information: www.benbria.com.