Since I moved to Austin Texas, I’ve discovered a number of restaurants that I really enjoy. One of them is Truluck’s in downtown Austin. The first time my wife and I went to Truluck’s we couldn’t help but notice how engaged the host was when we walked up to check in for our reservation. He was welcoming, friendly, and conversational. It was unusual in that the host seemed more engaging than the normal friendly host you might get when you enter a good restaurant. He was incredibly personable and it stood out to me. I took a mental note and wondered if the rest of the experience would be the same.
I sat down and the wait staff was very attentive (but not too attentive). They were right on the spot when I needed something but they didn’t interrupt constantly. The wine list was great (see this blog to know why that’s important to me). Then, the meal came out. It was phenomenal. For me, a great meal paired with a great wine and great service are the proof of the existence of a divine being. OK, maybe I exaggerate a little but it was really good.
My wife and I had a nice long dinner and a great experience. When we were ready to go, the wait staff brought out the bill and a computer tablet. The tablet had a series of survey questions on it. The first is the screenshot on this blog. They asked if I received a hospitable welcome from the host when I arrived! Voila! I now understood why the host really went out of his way to make us feel welcome. (By the way, I scored it as “Absolutely!)” The restaurant had about six questions in total relating to the experience during the evening and I checked each one of them at the highest possible level.
Trulucks measured key factors in their restaurant experience and the management got an immediate, real-time result for each of these areas. This is a perfect example of “Achieving What You Measure.” In their case, there was no delay in getting the results. They could tell exactly how people felt about the experience before the customer even left the restaurant. On one of my visits to Trulucks, I spoke to the manager, Thomas, about the survey system at the restaurant. He said that the previous month they received a 98% positive rating from the customer surveys. I told him that was outstanding. I love his response. He said, “actually, we always shoot for 100%.”
We could all learn from this type of management control system. Well done to Trulucks. I look forward to going back again soon.