the best restaurant surveys in 2023

The Best Restaurant Surveys in 2023

As a software company serving the restaurant industry, we understand the importance of collecting customer feedback to improve the customer experience and drive business success. Restaurant surveys are among the most effective ways to gather this feedback.

With surveys, restaurant owners and operators can gain valuable insights into what customers love about their establishment and areas for improvement. By identifying these opportunities, restaurant owners can take actionable steps to address concerns and drive customer loyalty.

However, creating a successful restaurant survey is more complex than asking a few questions. To truly gain the insights you need, planning and executing your survey carefully is essential. By following a few essential tips and best practices, you can design effective surveys to help you achieve your goals and drive success for your restaurant.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the best tips for designing effective restaurant surveys and examples of the best surveys.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a survey that provides meaningful insights and drives improvements for your restaurant.

Identify Goals for Your Restaurant Surveys

people setting goals

It’s critical to start by identifying clear goals for your restaurant survey. With clear goals, it’s easier to design a survey that effectively captures the insights you need to drive improvements in your restaurant.

To get started, it’s important to think about what you hope to achieve with your survey. Are you looking to understand what your customers think about your menu? Do you want to gather feedback on your restaurant’s atmosphere and design? Are you interested in improving the speed of service or the quality of customer service?

By defining your goals upfront, you’ll be better equipped to design a survey that addresses your specific needs. You’ll also be able to choose suitable questions and survey structures to help you achieve your goals.

For example, if you aim to gather feedback on your menu, you might consider including questions about specific dishes or ingredients. If your goal is to improve customer service, you might ask questions about wait times, staff friendliness, or the overall experience. By tailoring your questions to your goals, you’ll be more likely to collect actionable data to drive meaningful change in your restaurant.

It’s important to note that your goals may evolve, and you may need to update your survey to reflect these changes. By regularly revisiting your goals and adjusting your survey accordingly, you can ensure that your survey continues to provide meaningful insights and drive improvements in your restaurant.

Keep Your Restaurant Surveys Simple

keep it simple

We know that when it comes to survey design, simplicity is vital. A complicated or confusing survey can lead to lower response rates, inaccurate data, and customer frustration.

To keep your survey simple, it’s essential to focus on clarity and brevity. Make sure your questions are straightforward and easy to understand and avoid using technical or industry-specific jargon that may confuse your customers. Additionally, it’s important to keep your survey as short as possible. While it may be tempting to include many questions, a lengthy survey can lead to respondent fatigue and lower completion rates.

In addition to the length of your survey, how you structure your questions can also impact the simplicity of your survey. For example, consider using closed-ended questions, which offer limited response options (such as yes/no or multiple choice). Closed-ended questions are generally easier for respondents to answer and make it simpler to analyze and compare data.

By keeping your survey simple, you’ll be more likely to receive a higher response rate, collect more accurate data, and gain meaningful insights to drive improvements in your restaurant.

Use Incentives

use incentives

Providing incentives can be an effective way to encourage customers to complete your restaurant surveys. By offering incentives, you can increase response rates and collect more accurate data, ultimately driving improvements in your restaurant.

You can offer several types of incentives to customers who complete your survey. One option is to offer a discount or coupon for a future visit to your restaurant. This can be an effective way to encourage customers to complete your survey and bring them back for a return visit.

Another option is to offer a free item or gift card to customers who complete your survey. This can help show your customers that you value their feedback and appreciate their time and effort completing the survey.

If you choose to offer incentives, it’s important to be clear about the terms and conditions of the incentive, including any expiration dates or restrictions. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the incentive is appropriate and aligned with your restaurant’s brand and values.

When using incentives, it’s essential to be mindful of potential biases that may arise. For example, customers who only complete the survey for the incentive may be more likely to provide biased or incomplete feedback. To mitigate this, structure your survey to encourage thoughtful and honest feedback, regardless of whether or not an incentive is provided.

By using incentives effectively, you can increase response rates and collect more accurate customer data. This can help you better understand your customers’ needs and preferences and ultimately drive improvements in your restaurant.

Analyze and Act on Results

analyze results

A critical aspect of effective survey design is taking action on the insights you gather. It’s not enough to simply collect data – you need to analyze and act on that data to drive improvements in your restaurant.

One key step in taking action on your survey data is to review and analyze the results. Take the time to carefully review the data, identify any trends or patterns, and look for areas where your restaurant is performing well or where there is room for improvement.

Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, addressing them is essential. This might include making changes to your menu, improving the customer service experience, or addressing any issues with your restaurant’s physical space or atmosphere. Make sure to communicate these changes to your staff and customers and monitor the impact of these changes over time.

Another important aspect of taking action on survey data is to follow up with customers who provided feedback. If a customer had a negative experience at your restaurant, contact them to address their concerns and offer a solution. This can help to build trust and loyalty with your customers and demonstrate that you value their feedback.

Continue to iterate on your survey design over time. Regularly revisiting your goals and adjusting your survey accordingly can help ensure you collect the most meaningful data and drive improvements in your restaurant.

By taking action on your survey data, you can turn customer feedback into a valuable tool for driving growth and success in your restaurant.

3 Types of Restaurant Surveys

Physical Surveys

paper restaurant surveys

If you’re a restaurant owner who doesn’t like technology, don’t fret. You can use paper surveys to hand out to your guests to collect feedback. You can design these yourself or find great templates on sites like Etsy.

Online Surveys

online restaurant surveys

You can create an online form free through Google Forms and link a QR code to the survey so guests can scan the code and be directed straight to the survey. They’re simple to make and can be one of the most cost-effective solutions for gathering feedback. See how this demo form looks here.

Text Message Surveys

text message restaurant surveys

A great way to collect phone numbers and surveys simultaneously is to use text message surveys. They are simple for guests to provide feedback and can allow you to re-market to those customers again in the future. SMS marketing for restaurants is an excellent, cost-effective way to bring customers back more often.

Example Questions for Restaurant Surveys

You may be wondering what questions to ask in your surveys.

Below is a list of common questions in restaurant surveys. Credit for these questions goes to Toasttab.

Remember, you don’t want to put all these questions in one survey; choose a few questions based on your goals. You can always change up the types of questions as your goals change.

General Questions

Get insights about your patrons, including how they found out about your restaurant, and some basic information.

Is this your first time dining with us?

How did you learn about us?

How often do you visit us?

How likely are you to return? Very Likely / Likely / Unlikely / Very Unlikely.

Do you consider our restaurant to be family-friendly? Yes / No (please explain).

Are our hours convenient? Yes / No (please explain).

How far did you travel to reach us today?

Would you be interested in trying a new feature, dish, drink special, or service we are considering? Yes / No (please explain).

Facilities Questions

These questions assess the accessibility and cleanliness of your establishment.

If you use a wheelchair, did our staff and facilities meet your needs? Yes / No (please explain).

Were the seats comfortable? Yes / No (please explain).

Were the restrooms and other facilities clean? Yes / No (please explain).

Was the music volume to your liking? Yes / No (please explain).

Food & Drink Questions

The food and drinks served at your restaurant are usually the primary reason why people choose to dine there, so ensure that your menu is up to par.

How would you rate the value of our food? 1 (Poor Value) to 5 (Great Value).

Were you satisfied with our drink offerings? Yes / No (please explain).

Is there something missing from our menu that you would like to see? Yes / No (please explain).

Do you believe our menu caters to everyone? Yes / No (please explain).

How would you rate the range of options on our menu? Too Few Options / Just Right / Too Many Options.

If you have any dietary restrictions, did we accommodate them well today? Yes / No (please explain).

Service Questions

Your service can have a significant impact on whether a first-time customer becomes a regular, so ensure everything runs smoothly.

Who was your server today? (This question can help you identify which servers stand out and who might need further training.)

Was the service friendly and welcoming? Yes / No (please explain).

Was the food served quickly enough? Yes / No (please explain).

If there were any issues, did your server handle them well? Yes / No (please explain).

Tech Questions

If you recently introduced new point-of-sale technology or started offering delivery via online ordering, it’s essential to ask customers about their experience.

Did our restaurant technology speed up your checkout process? Yes / No (please explain).

Did you enjoy using our handheld checkout system and/or kiosk? Yes / No (please explain).

If you ordered online, how quickly did your food arrive?

If you ordered online, was the food fresh when it arrived? Yes / No (please explain).

Which online ordering provider did you use?

Did you take advantage of any of our discounts or special offers?


In conclusion, designing effective restaurant surveys is critical for understanding your customers’ needs and preferences, as well as driving improvements in your restaurant. At Text2VIP, we understand the importance of survey design and have provided several key tips for creating surveys that are engaging, accessible, and actionable.

To recap, our tips include: setting clear goals for your survey, using clear and concise language, designing your survey for accessibility and mobile devices, offering incentives, and taking action on the insights you gather.

By following these tips, you can create surveys that are more likely to be completed by customers and that will provide you with valuable insights to improve your restaurant experience. Whether you’re looking to optimize your menu, improve your customer service, or enhance the overall atmosphere of your restaurant, effective survey designs can help you achieve your goals.

We are committed to providing tools and resources to help restaurants of all sizes collect and analyze customer feedback. By leveraging the latest technology and best practices in survey design, we can help you create surveys that are engaging, accessible, and actionable, so you can make data-driven decisions and drive growth in your restaurant.

We hope these tips have been helpful, and we look forward to supporting your restaurant’s future success.

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