Casting a spotlight on the service industry

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 3, 2006

In today's issue of The Advocate we've taken a look at customer service among several of our fast food restaurants along I-65.

Our number one reason for conducting this survey was to cast an objective spotlight on the restaurants that often serve as a traveler's first (or last) introduction to the city of Greenville. Undoubtedly, the Interstate has been a huge economic boom to our city. We rely heavily on the travelers driving both south and north since it's their sales taxes who help fund city-wide services and projects. Two of the main reasons people stop in Greenville is either for gas or food. We figured the fast food industry would be as good a place as any to start.

For this survey - conducted over several days in September - five Advocate staffers drew five random restaurant names from a hat. Once the names were drawn, we then decided on a series of 10 questions that would form the nucleus of our survey. The questions we felt were important items any visitor to our city would ask at a restaurant. Things like timeliness, whether or not the order was correct, was the bathroom clean and well stocked, or did cashiers and servers welcome you to restaurant. We also decided Advocate staffers would go in pairs - one to the drive-thru, one inside- to form a more well-rounded survey of customer service at the restaurant. Staff members completed survey sheets, while also offering notes and critiques of the dining experience as a whole.

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The enclosed surveys provide a snapshot of customer service from an objective viewpoint.