Stupid corporate customer surveys

We all have them don’t we.  Every time we go somewhere, every time we do something, every time we visit a website we are urged to share our opinion.  Tight companies offer us nothing in return, others offer us a 1 in a million chance to win £10 or something similar.  Those lucky enough to come on my guided tours are spared all this and I only ask if they had a good time.

Recently I went to a Pizza Hut restaurant.  I’ve been going to the same one for about 20 years.  I know pretty much everything about the place, I’m friends with some of the staff and even worked there for a few months when between other more permanent jobs.

Today I was asked to complete a survey on my recent meal there.  Fair enough, it gave me a chance to win £1,000, a definitive 2 for 1 meal deal within a month and to hopefully put a good word in for our favourite waitress who always goes the extra mile for us whenever we dine there.

Pizza Hut

I hope your experience of reading my blog was enhanced by this post?

I’m used to being asked inane questions, I’ve worked at places where inane policies seemed to be the main goal in life rather than being good at the job.  However, one question seemed typical of those drawn up by people who have no experience of real life and that is “Was your experience enhanced when the food arrived at your table?”

Really?  What sort of question is that?  Is my experience of the bus stop improved when the bus arrives?  Does my experience of the cinema go up when the film starts?   Do I enjoy summer more when the snow goes and we get sunshine?  What sort of question is that?  Your food arriving at the table isn’t an improvement in the experience, it is the primary point of eating out.

Lots of things can make my experience of a restaurant bad.  Noisy children, snooty waiters, staff who always seem to look the other way when you want something, toilets that are dirty, too much background noise but not the food.  Well usually not the food.  Once I did end up eating in a vegan tofu restaurant in London.  There were mitigating circumstances in that the other restaurants didn’t accept cards or were closed.  We were partially lost and running low on time and oh yes, I didn’t want to eat there in the first place. The restaurant looked deserted.  The sole member of staff lonely and rather forlorn and one of our group was really keen to give them our business.

How bad could vegan tofu food be if like me you’re not a vegan and never had tofu.  It can’t be that bad as so many people talk about tofu and in my ignorance I thought they were all talking about it in a good way.


Hhhmmm. Yummy Tofu. It can pretend to be meat but in the end it looks every bit of curdled soy milk that it is.

What a mistake and never one to be repeated.  My first mouthful I discovered that strange taste and texture of tofu.  I hated it but had to at least eat the small amount that was on my plate.  It was probably the only buffet where I didn’t eat a full plate full let alone go back for more.

The one enthusiastic tofu diner in our party said it was “okay”, the other two including myself were disappointed, more so when we found a nice looking restaurant round the corner.   I had that taste of tofu in my mouth from the Saturday night until around Thursday.  It was awful and scarred me for life and I thought I’d put it behind me until this Pizza survey.

So yes Pizza Hut, my experience was enhanced when the food arrived in the same sort of way my experience of the toilet is when the flush works and yes I will go there again despite the survey however one thing in the vegan tofu restaurants favour is that it didn’t ask for my opinion in a survey.  They asked for it when we had the food and we all lied and said we loved it.  Everyone else who went there must have loved it too as it closed soon afterwards.

This could all turn into a great game.  Let me have your similar tales of how your experience was enhanced by having the expect happen?   My experience of the XX was enhanced then the XX happened 🙂

Don’t forget to check out my new book ‘The Promise, the first book in the Timeless Trilogy that will be released this summer.  You can read more about it here or be even more daring and visit my and stores and maybe make a purchase!


About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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5 Responses to Stupid corporate customer surveys

  1. EBotziou says:

    Whenever my sister and I are out and asked to fill in a survey, we always get the ‘What is the purpose of your meal?’ question – other than the obvious which would be TO EAT, we usually tick the ‘intimate meal for 2’ box. Where do they come up with this rubbish?!


    • It’s such a waste of time. They’re clearly trying to turn eating into some kind of big event when really for 99% of people it is just a little treat and an excuse to meet up with family or friends. Maybe we should do a survey for our blogs!!


  2. karengadient says:

    We’re vegan, but tofu isn’t something we have often, unless we fry it in coconut oil and add a spicy sauce. Vegans have a LOT of tastier options now, including a few that are meaty enough to stand in for the real thing. Just saying, so you don’t think all of us love tofu. 😉


  3. Thanks for clearing that up :-). Tofu seems to get a lot of column space for what it is. I’ve had a few vegetarian dishes that every bit as nice as meat ones in their own way and some pretty good meat substitutes too. Tofu though, I hope never to pass my lips again 🙂


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