Measuring Net Promoter Score (NPS) for a Restaurant

Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty or likelihood that a customer will recommend you to a friend. It is used by most of the Fortune 500 companies. NPS is a simple loyalty metric that was introduced in a 2003 Harvard Business Review article.

We use NPS as a tool at Saddleback BBQ to gauge how well we are doing with our customers, how we can improve, what we are doing well and how likely our customers are to recommend us to their friends. Obviously, how likely someone is to recommend us to a friend is of critical importance to any business, especially a restaurant. The vast majority of our growth is from word of mouth. People having a good experience and sharing it with their friends.

NPS is a simple question and the responded answers with a rating from 0 to 10. The question we use is: “How likely are you to recommend Saddleback BBQ to someone you know?”

We use a Google Spreadsheet but there are many tools that have been developed for NPS measurement. Delighted is our personal favorite.

When looking at the results, a rating of 9 or 10 means that the person is a Promoter. A rating of 7 or 8 means the person is Neutral and a rating from 0 – 6 means the person is a Detractor.

Your NPS score can be as low as -100 or as high as 100. An NPS greater than 50 is considered excellent. Apple is reported to have an NPS score of around 70-80. Comcast’s NPS score is said to be around -10. (I’m actually surprised it isn’t lower!)

Net Promote Score is calculated by getting the percentage of Promoters and Detractors. Then you subtract the Detractor Percentage from the Promoter Percentage. So if you had 70% promoters and 20% Detractors. Your NPS would be 50 (70 – 20). You can use this handy NPS calculator from the team at Delighted.

At Saddleback BBQ we have had a NPS as low as 48 and as high as 80. Our most recent NPS survey measured in at 78.

In our surveys, immediately following the NPS measurement, we ask an open ended question. “Please explain why you provided the score that you did above.” This open ended question provides a tremendous amount of valuable feedback. In our most recent survey we learned some of the following things that our customers would like us to address:

  • Another location in Meridian. (Hopefully on the way!)

  • Wu Tang Wings all week long

  • Lighter side options. Maybe salads.

  • More special’s

  • A larger location

  • Less congestion around the cash register

  • Dinner options

  • Delivery! (We are working on it!)

  • Liquor / Beer

Some things to consider about Bias…
One of the challenges with any survey is making sure that you construct and deliver the survey in a way that minimizes Bias. One bias that we have in our NPS measurement is “Selection Bias”. We send the survey to people that have subscribed to our email newsletter. Obviously this is a biased group that likes our restaurant enough to subscribe. Ideally we want to change that but we don’t have an easy way to do it now. What we would like to do, when we change Point Of Sale Systems, is to put an NPS survey on the bottom of our receipts. That is not possible at this time. Another problem is that we have a pretty small sample size. The receipt idea that we mentioned above should be able to solve that.

The final bias that we want to mention is Self Selection Bias. This bias is pretty hard to overcome. Basically it means that our data is a bit biased because people have to choose to fill out the survey. They “self select” themselves. This inherently means that we are not measuring everyone. This bias will be really hard for us to overcome but we are looking at ways to address it.

I hope that this article has helped you. If you have any questions or comments please let us know on our Facebook Page. Thanks!

Travis Stoliker – Saddleback BBQ