Hickory’s Smokehouse increase NPS by +14 points with Yumpingo

Hickorys Smokehouse


Point NPS Increase


More Happy Guests


Less Unhappy Guests



Hickorys Smokehouse-4

"Since rolling out Yumpingo our NPS has been steadily increasing and is now 14 points higher; which means 13% more happy guests! We’ve also seen our online reputation scores climbing from 4.3 to an excellent 4.7 stars. And we have seen a direct link between NPS and sales growth."

John Welsh, MD of Hickory's Smokehouse


Hickory’s Smokehouse encapsulates the authentic tastes of the Deep South. They are a small but perfectly formed group of authentic barbecue style restaurants living and breathing the values of southern USA hospitality.

With Yumpingo, Hickory’s Smokehouse were able to collect in-depth, dish-level-customer feedback, whilst maintaining their brand standards during a growth period of the company.

"We can understand what our guests are thinking as they are in the restaurants, once they finish their meal, or even when they’ve gone home and we can see trends on a day-to-day basis." - Lisa Owen, Head of Marketing, Hickory’s Smokehouse.


  • Traditional, outdated guest experience measurement methods
  • Difficulty scaling guest feedback, making it difficult to implement changes
  • Lack of insights to engage neutral guests and convert them to brand advocates
  • Needed to maintain brand standards while the company grew

The impact of Yumpingo devices

Before implementing Yumpingo, Hickory’s Smokehouse relied on traditional methods of capturing customer feedback and information was collated anecdotally. They were only receiving a handful of customer reviews a day. When they started using Yumpingo in their restaurants, that all changed.

Hickorys Smokehouse (2)

Lisa Owen, Head of Marketing, Hickory’s Smokehouse said: We’ve gone from a handful of reviews each day to getting a good in-depth response from about 50% of our guests. We’ve got all those small pieces of feedback, we can actually do something about”.

Focused on maintaining brand standards, Hickory’s Smokehouse wanted to ensure that the Yumpingo devices in their restaurants fitted in with their environment, to guarantee they were well received by customers.

Lisa Owen said: “We worked really hard with Yumpingo to make sure that the devices represent us as the brand, they fitted in with our menus, they fitted in with our environment. They’re really quick to use and guests find them cool and interactive.”

The Yumpingo devices were well received, and not only by their customers but also by their FOH teams. Working with Yumpingo's customer success team, they got their in-house training just right and now, FOH teams are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to deliver the devices correctly to their customers.

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Toby Beesly, Training Manager at Hickory’s Smokehouse, said: "It’s vital that the team member explains what Yumpingo is. So it improves guest experience, whilst gathering feedback. The guests can review what they’ve had, based on their visit."

Capturing customer feedback and dish-level insights has been imperative to the growth of the brand but Hickory’s Smokehouse also wanted to grow their customer database and Yumpingo has supported this growth.

Lisa added, "The great thing about the Yumpingo devices is that once the guests have given us their feedback, they can opt-in and leave their email address, which goes straight into our database and we can use that to target them accordingly".

The impact of gaining real-time customer feedback

Before using Yumpingo, Hickory’s Smokehouse were only able to identify positive and negative customer experiences, with no feedback from the mid-level of responses, where people thought the overall experience was ‘okay’ and could be improved.

By using the customer data-led insights provided by Yumpingo, Hickory’s Smokehouse saw where improvements could be made to help convert those experiences who were medium to average, to customers who now love the experience Hickory’s is offering.

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Hickory’s Smokehouse was determined to gain real-time actionable insights, which would have the biggest impact on the restaurant operations and help improve the overall customer experience.

"We can see trends from individual restaurants and we can also look at [these] over the course of a week, which just means that we can really target and identify any of those small changes that we need to make instantly or ones that we can capture and monitor over time and to make longer strategic decisions,” Lisa said.

With Yumpingo’s multi-touch and multi-channel methods for collecting operational performance insights, the Hickory’s Smokehouse team were able to immediately leverage the culinary performance data for look, taste, portion, and value of every menu item.

Explaining the benefit of a multi-venue overview through the Yumpingo dashboard helps with consistency, John Tamila, Development & Training Chef at Hickory’s said: “If we have a consistency issue that we see come up in all different venues of a product or a recipe, we can take that away, relook at it and then retrace back into the team, to make it a better product.”

Finally, John added: “Everyone is aligned in making the guest experience as best as it possibly can be. And ultimately, if we get to an improved NPS, which is exactly what we’ve managed to do over the past three years with Hickory’s by working with Yumpingo.”

About Hickory's Smokehouse

The first Hickory’s Smokehouse opened in 2010 in Chester. It all started with a road trip to the Southern States – 18 trips, 70 cities later & counting where they brought home inspiration, knowledge, passion & good old Southern hospitality.

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