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Stealable idea: Getting consumer feedback

Whether you’re a new restaurant, in a new market or have been around for a while, it’s important to understand what consumers think of your operation. The trouble is that getting in-the-moment feedback isn’t always an easy task, and Yelp and other online-review sites aren’t the most accurate measure of the everyday consumer experience.

That’s why Los Angeles-based Umami Burger from restaurateur Adam Fleischman rolled out its “Umamify the Guest” program. Instead of stuffing a guest survey form into the check presenter, servers hand dine-in guests wooden coins at the end of their meal. The server explains that there are three large jars near the exit—the green jar represents a stellar experience, the yellow jar represents a good time with room for improvement and the red jar represents a bad service. Each diner is asked to drop a coin into the jar that best matches their Umami Burger experience.

The jars are positioned far enough from the host stand to let diners feel comfortable about giving honest feedback, but close enough to let the host spot a coin going into the red jar. That affords an opportunity to get feedback from disappointed guests before they leave, or to get an account from the server about what happened with a specific guest.

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