Digital Feedback in Cafeterias – Listen. Understand. Act.

Sep 9, 2022 | Employee Engagement

Swati loves samosas but finds the ones served in the office cafeteria to be spicy. Mohan used to eat lunch in the cafeteria regularly but now finds it boring and prefers to eat out. Priya actually likes the food they serve, but wishes they had healthier options like soups and salads that would help her stick to her diet. Your employees are ready to talk about what will improve their cafeteria experience. But are you listening?

Footfalls in office cafeterias do not drop mysteriously. If the cafeteria manager is listening, they can figure out why employees are spending their money elsewhere. Employees get disgruntled over time about the quality of food, or the service, and stop coming. Mostly because either no one is collecting their feedback, or no one is doing anything about it.

The good news is that cafeterias are going to go through a fundamental transformation. Digital technology has made inroads into office cafeterias with the promise of changing everything. And it’s about time. We’re all used to ordering food through apps that allow us to pick specifically what we want at our convenience, track the order, and rate the food based on our experience. Imagine if you could offer them the same experience in the office!

Everything from looking at the menu, to placing the order, making the payment, and getting feedback can be done digitally. A digital feedback form or an app is a great way to receive feedback from each employee about the food, maintenance, service, staff, and more. And with digital cafeterias on the rise, you can take feedback in real-time, view in-depth reports, track cafeteria performance, take action, and resolve issues quicker than ever before.

What factors must be tracked

Eating Experience

Introducing a new menu or adding to your existing one? Or worried about why a particular dish is not popular? Take feedback from customers about key concerns like the taste of the food, portion size, variety of the menu, etc. by asking different types of questions.

Complaints Management

Measure how employee feedback is dealt with, and also the impact of any suitable actions that have been taken to resolve complaints.

Overall service

Ask employees what they think about the behaviour of the cafeteria staff, their responsiveness to requests or complaints, and so on.


Employees might still manage food that’s not par excellence but will not compromise on hygiene and cleanliness of the staff and the premises. It is thus important to frequently check with them if all is well.

Collecting cafeteria feedback digitally

Gone are the days of paper-based forms. Today everything is about clicks and taps on a digital device. Using software or an app to collect employee feedback digitally will help you get your finger on the pulse, and will allow you to:

  • Extract insights from direct feedback: Using digital forms to collect feedback from employees about their cafeteria experience is the best way to understand what they liked or disliked. Share feedback forms at varying days and time slots so you get a better view of employee preferences. Since the forms are digital, you can also change questions easily to keep the questions relevant and get more varied feedback.
  • Use analytics to see patterns in food consumption highs and lows, as well as purchase trends: Cafeteria feedback received from employees by using digital forms is easier to feed into an analytics engine which will then display recurring trends. For example, you can see that on days when biryani is being served there is a much higher footfall in the cafeteria, and consumption of accompanying foods also goes up. Or that on Fridays most employees prefer to step out for lunch resulting in a waste of cafeteria food.
  • Understand what sells, and what doesn’t: Purchase patterns can reveal a lot about what sells and what is not really popular. You could eliminate foods that have been consumed less consistently, and increase the frequency of the more popular dishes. In fact, digital feedback forms also allow the cafeteria manager to bring variations in food and measure feedback. They can optimize inventory and accommodate seasonal changes in demand.
  • Understand and address repeated complaints about the specific issue(s): Repeated complaints and/or several complaints about the same problem can point to a larger underlying issue that must be addressed on priority. It could be about the taste, cleanliness, or delayed service. Cafeteria managers can then also look deeper into the complaint redressal system, and check it for possible faults.
  • Increase cafeteria sales: With their requirements and preferences being met, employees are certain to give their own cafeteria preference instead of stepping out to eat or order in.

The final garnish

In today’s digital era, office cafeteria managers must constantly look for new ways to improve their operations, service, and the fare they serve. Restaurant feedback forms are being replaced with more dynamic and versatile digital feedback forms that improve the employee experience, but also help optimise operations. Paper-based feedback forms are restricting and prone to errors like illegible handwriting, or errors in feeding in data by the analyst. They are also generic, a pain to fill out, and indiscreet, thus discouraging employees from filling out feedback forms. Digital feedback forms on the other hand reduce the effort required from an employee to share their feedback, as well as the time involved in acting on that feedback.

With digital feedback forms, quick insights and in-depth analysis of the cafeteria results in a better understanding of employee sentiment and satisfaction and enables faster resolutions. Moreover, feedback is essential, but actionable feedback is what truly matters. Remember, a great cafeteria experience is never the result of just excellent food, but of a two-way relationship between the cafeteria and employees.