A line of employees stand behind a Costa Vida counter, ready to serve guests.

Costa Vida founder takes customer service to the next level

With Phaceology’s customer satisfaction metrics, franchisees can develop their teams, improve guest satisfaction and increase revenues

At Costa Vida, we do everything we can to make sure our guests are satisfied, because that’s the key to success for our Mexican restaurant franchise and our franchisees. Happy guests come back more often, spend more at each meal and spread great word-of-mouth recommendations, helping bring even more business through franchisees’ doors. But how can we know when our guests are happy?

Feedback from guest surveys or reviews can be helpful, but those only touch a small percentage of guests. We wanted some more comprehensive customer satisfaction metrics, so Costa Vida founder Kenny Prestwich decided to go get them by founding Phaceology to offer cutting-edge guest satisfaction and employee development technology at Costa Vida locations.

That makes Phaceology more than just a vendor partner for Costa Vida; our goals are directly aligned as we work to develop, capture and utilize some of the most advanced employee and customer satisfaction metrics in the restaurant industry.

A line of employees stand behind a Costa Vida counter, ready to serve guests.
Improving interactions with guests increases guest and employee satisfaction and retention, and brings you more repeat visitors.

Based on unobtrusive camera technology originally developed to measure reactions to advertisements, Phaceology analyzes interactions and emotional responses to determine how an employee is performing and how the guest is responding. It does this in real time, giving franchise owners the opportunity to do in-the-moment coaching to help develop their teams and boost guest satisfaction and retention.

“Emotions are 100% accurate. You can’t fake them. And when people are interacting, there’s an automatic transference that takes place between them that basically says, ‘Hey, here’s the deal.’ If I yawn, you yawn. If I smile, you smile,” says Prestwich. “This technology gives me an emotional indicator as to how well the team is working with guests and how satisfied the guests are with their service. That was exciting to me because I didn’t have to sit there and make sure it happened. Now, all of a sudden, on their own, the teams were personally motivated to give great guest service. That helps the guest have a better time, and that’s really where we shine.”

Developing your team and raising revenues

The technology and coaching it enables help give your team members a better idea of how they come across to guests, especially in subtle ways they might not realize. This helps them provide a better experience for guests from the moment they walk in, and makes them much more likely to come back for another meal. For multi-unit operators, it also helps you to keep an eye on how your stores and teams are doing right from your phone, without having to be everywhere at once.

“This really gives us an opportunity to help develop the members of our teams,” says Prestwich. “It’s all about bettering the individual employee in a measurable way, which down the road serves them well when they go to pick up any other job. They have a history that they can show that’s scientific evidence as to how well they treat guests. What I love the most is I enjoy working with people and developing talent. I now have a tool that really lets me know how well that talent’s being developed.”

Another crucial benefit is the potential for higher sales and revenues thanks to more frequent repeat business from guests. Over more than a year of in-the-field testing, the data backs up the tool’s success, with strong improvements in guest satisfaction ratings and increased sales at the stores using the tech.

“In the beginning we thought the results were going to be anecdotal – you treat people well, they’re going to come back,” says Prestwich. “Guest service survey scores in the stores with this technology increased significantly, and the revenue followed. With Phaceology’s emotion recognition technology, our guest responses improved 30%, tips are up 40% and revenues have increased by as much as 12%.”

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