Farmers Restaurant Group takes action on guest feedback and sentiment analysis

How this restaurant group quickly identified
strong suites and areas for improvement

Type of restaurant
Restaurant group

Locations
9 locations in
MD, PA, VA

Year founded
2008

For Farmers Restaurant Group, meeting the challenge of serving the modern diner is in their roots. When Farmers opened their first location, Founding Farmers, back in 2008, their top priority was creating a dining experience based on a robust made-from-scratch menu filled exclusively with responsibly sourced food. It’s no surprise that this approach put Founding Farmers locations on OpenTable’s “Top 10 Diners’ Choice Winners in Washington, D.C. Area” in 2020.

Farmers Restaurant Group has since expanded to serving thousands of guests across multiple concepts. With an increased number of locations and guests, the sheer volume of guest feedback became overwhelming for the Farmers team.

Marketing Director Meaghan O’Shea says, “There are so many different ways for our guests to engage and give feedback and I think that specifically, being in the restaurant industry, you want to hear your guest and make sure they feel heard. For us, that means having our hand in every single one of those channels… which can be a little overwhelming!”

Getting sentimental

Farmers Restaurant Group came to OpenTable to harness the power of guests’ feedback and provide an amazing dining experience. The team leveraged the Sentiment Analysis feature to see all reviews and analysis in one place. The analysis algorithm understands the detailed nuances of guest feedback and correlates those sentiments to term groupings, providing them a new opportunity to take action on guest feedback.


Now, O’Shea and her team had access to group-wide and location-specific report cards, directly from Farmers Restaurant Group guests. O’Shea says, “We were seeing feedback saying things like ‘I got the fried chicken and it was wicked salty’—we’ll take that and go directly to our chef or order it ourselves to do a quality assurance test.”

Qualifying all feedback

But the value of thoroughly tracking guest feedback extends further for the Farmers team. “Having a software that aggregates all our reviews together in one place is not only a time saver, but it also helps us to easily identify trends, highlight what we’re doing well, and call out areas that need more work or attention to detail,” O’Shea says.

Everything from fried chicken feedback, to Yelp comments raving about Founding Farmers’ fried brussels sprouts, to TripAdvisor posts mentioning the lovely outdoor seating at Farmers Fishers Bakers is captured and analyzed by OpenTable so the Farmers Restaurant Group Team doesn’t have to. O’Shea says, “Now we can hold our restaurants accountable to two key success metrics—‘how is the food’ and ‘how is the service’—because we believe those are the two main things that affect the diner the most.”

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