Case Study

Hickory’s Smokehouse See an NPS Increase of +14 Points With Yumpingo



+14 Point NPS Increase
+13% More Happy Guests
-50% Less Unhappy Guests
263,677 Reviews



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

With the Yumpingo Devices, Hickory’s Smokehouse have been able to collect in-depth, dish-level-customer feedback, whilst maintaining their brand standards throughout the growth transition of the company.



– Traditional, outdated guest experience measurement methods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 the Yumpingo devices, Hickory’s Smokehouse relied on traditional methods of capturing customer feedback and information was collated anecdotally. Hickory’s would only receive a handful of customer reviews a day, but since using the Yumpingo devices in their restaurants, this has all changed:

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 ensure they were well received by their 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 have been well-received by not only their customers but by their FOH teams also. By carrying out the right training internally, FOH teams are now equipped with the knowledge and expertise on how to deliver the devices correctly to their customers.

Toby Beesly, Training Manager at Hickory’s Smokehouse:

“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, without being able to gain feedback from the mid-level of responses which thought the overall experience was ‘okay’ and could be improved.

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

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

Lisa Owen added:

“At any one time, 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.


We can see trends from individual restaurants and we can also look at it 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.”

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.

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. Then 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.”



Their Story:

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.

Download this case study to see how you can get similar results:

“Since rolling out Yumpingo our NPS has been steadily increasing and is now 14 points higher; which means 11% 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. Yumpingo has helped give us the confidence to make changes to our guest journey, our menus, our training and get a genuine feel for what our guests think of those changes.”

John Welsh, Managing Director of Hickory’s Smokehouse