Query for questions on a questionnaire
February 12, 2008 4:04 PM   Subscribe

I'm designing a questionnaire for a small, family-owned pizza shop to be administered to students at a nearby college. The goal is to determine awareness of the business, and how business might be improved. What questions do you think I should include?

I'm doing this free of charge for the pizza shop and as a college project. Thanks.
posted by JaySunSee to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think they'd get a better return if they printed coupons and passed those out. $1 off a small and $2 off a large, something like that.
posted by rhizome at 4:13 PM on February 12, 2008

I watch a lot of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (UK), a show where a pro chef tries to revitalize failing restaurants. - the questions he tends to ask the locals are:

1. Have you heard of _________?
2. If yes, do you frequent the establishment?
3. If no to #2, why not?
4. What have you heard about __________?
5. Would you go there if (lower prices?) (change of menu?) i.e. What would it take for you to go there?

Usually he passes out samples or something along with the short interview to convince them to do - but I don't know if that's within the scope of your project.
posted by s01110011 at 4:15 PM on February 12, 2008

Is this for a research methods class? I ask because I'll suggest different questions if itznfor something else.
posted by bilabial at 4:21 PM on February 12, 2008

Surveys that try to measure 'awareness' come with a built-in problem: If you ask "Are you aware of X?" the answer is "Now I am!" It's like a push poll. Also, you can't rely on users to accurately predict their future behavior based on some potential change (lower prices, for example).

Try something like this:

1. How many times did you order/go out for/take out pizza in the last month?
2. List all the pizza places you ordered from/ate at/took out from.
3. How much pizza do you get when you order?
4. Which are your favorite pizza places? Why?
5. What's the most you've spent for a pizza? The least?

And the prize for completing the survey is... a coupon for a dollar off at [Family Pizza Joint].

Optionally, you could add:

5. Have you ever been to [Family Pizza Joint]?
6. What did you think of [Family Pizza Joint]?
7. Would you go there again?

These get at your potential market as well as existing impressions of the business.

If you want to go directly to distributing coupons, try different locations or methods of distribution, and code the coupons. Then tally up where your best response comes from.
posted by expialidocious at 4:30 PM on February 12, 2008

Response by poster: @bilabial: Sorta. It's marketing research class.
@rhizome and s01110011: I think that's a great idea (and Chef Ramsay rules).

It's strange how the college is only a few blocks away (and the food prices within the college are nutzoid) but the pizza shop gets very little traffic. Ok, maybe not having any promotional budget may have something to do with it.

Btw: I've eaten pizza there a few times and the food is excellent.
posted by JaySunSee at 4:33 PM on February 12, 2008

Response by poster: Excellent suggestions expialidocious.
posted by JaySunSee at 4:36 PM on February 12, 2008

If you've got the time and attention of the interviewee, ask blind and then expose– name five (or six, or seven) pizza joints on campus. What's the best? Why is it good? What's the worst? Why. If they haven't mentioned the pizza place you're talking about, ask them then if they've heard of it. If so, ask them who it's good for - the kind of person that goes there. Is it for people like them? Would they recommend it to a friend? Why or why not? Yes or no questions are fine for a quick survey, but the kind of things that would make an impact are the things that people might not come out and say directly. "I wouldn't recommend it, because it looks kind of ghetto, even if the pizza is good.', "Old people go there because it's cheap and bland" etc.
posted by Gucky at 4:46 PM on February 12, 2008

Response by poster: That's an awesome idea Gucky, but the sample size has to be 100 people.

But then again, it can be small sample-sized pieces...
posted by JaySunSee at 4:53 PM on February 12, 2008

Response by poster: Wait. Upon re-reading your question, you're not suggesting a taste test. But I agree, close-ended questions are the way to go.
posted by JaySunSee at 4:58 PM on February 12, 2008

I'll suggest a taste-test. Come get a square inch or so of pizza, no obligation. Did you like it? Here, fill out a questionnaire, and when you're done I'll give you a voucher for 10% off your next pizza order from Place (maximum six pizzas), which has a map on the back of it showing where Place is from the college.

Which is what I suspect the problem is. Why does the pizza shop get little traffic? Is it too far to comfortably walk? In a back street that isn't well-frequented? Out on its own, with no surrounding businesses of any interest to college students? All else being equal, a pizza joint near a bus stop, between a laundromat and internet cafe will do much better college-student business than one that's nowhere near a public transport path and sits between a camping supplies store and a nursing home. Ask them why would they go down the street, or why might they avoid going down the street?

Pitch a few potential traffic-increasing ideas. If we offered 5% discount for showing a student card, would you go? What if we offered a 5 for 4 pizza deal, ie pay for 4 and get 1 the same size free? Free deliveries to the college dorm Monday through Thursday nights? If we came to some arrangement to sell pizza on the campus for $5 for 2 slices (or whatever), when would be a good time and where a good place to do so?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:56 PM on February 12, 2008

JaySunSee, this is a little tangential to your question, but when I did some surveys in college, I had to get approval (including a list of the survey questions) from some office that had oversight over use of "human subjects". Make sure you don't run afoul of them...

Also, you will find (after it is too late) that writing a survey is quite an art -- ambiguities in your wording will be revealed in your data that you never would have suspected, etc. DEFINITELY beta-test the survey on someone uninvolved with the project or class, and get their honest opinion of the survey.
posted by misterbrandt at 6:20 PM on February 12, 2008

Perhaps combining the survey with a drawing for free food would boost participation.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:19 AM on February 13, 2008

OK. You it sounds to me like you need two things... 1. Likert scale and 2. random sampling.

Likert scale to be used for the attitudes of people about location, price, delivery options, etc and for the opinions of people who have eaten at this place.

Random sampling because if you only talk to 20 people outside the library at noon on Tuesday you are not going to have anything representative of your schools population. You want the guys at the gym, the kids who never leave the dorm, the people in the engineering department, and the folks who live in the theater because they are always rehearsing. And you need quite a bit of surveys. At least 40, but try for more.

And finally, this sounds obvious but its not. If you do give out coupons, make sure the restaurant is going to keep track of how many get returned, and when - day of the week, time of day. Having them get stapled to the receipt is good. Also, if there is a way to do a customer reward program - ten slices, get the 11th free, that might be an option.

You might talk to someone in the social sciences about surveys, but if you go that route you might need IRB approval...
posted by bilabial at 3:26 AM on February 14, 2008

« Older Survey focused CMS packages?   |   Is a .ae domain OK despite net censorship? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.