Pizza Brands Are Using Mystery Shopping To Measure Compliance To Brand Standards

Pizza has become one of the fastest growing segments in the food market in recent history. In 2017, 954 pizza chain establishments opened in North America in addition to the already saturated market.[1] Beyond a great tasting pie, price, convenience and sheer-availability are the major factors that push consumers towards these restaurants. With the onslaught of fast-casual, point-and-pick pizza chains like Blaze Pizza and MOD Pizza disrupting the homeostasis of the industry, it is important that your pizza brand is observing and responding to these evolving consumer expectations. Attracting and retaining customers requires paying attention to your brand’s online presence as well as your team’s ability to provide a consistent value at each phase along the customer journey. It is important that you are monitoring whether or not employees and franchised locations are remaining consistently compliant with your unique brand standards.

Ultimately, pizza brands must be willing to collect, listen and respond to customer feedback to find success in the modern marketplace. Pizza Magazine Quarterly released a state of the industry report, offering insights into where your brand should focus its energy and resources to best connect with customers. The first step to achieving success in this segment is offering a great product. Taste and quality of the food was ranked as the top influencer for customer decisions[2] and in a flooded market understanding why a customer chooses a brand is vital to providing an optimized value. PMQ determined that half of every dollar spent on food is at restaurants[3] and when people venture into the world for a meal, it is vital that your team consistently meets consumer needs by offering a high-quality product and experience within every interaction.

As your brand expands to more locations across the country, it becomes increasingly challenging to ensure that every interaction is operating according to these brand standards. Many brands use a franchisee-model that puts the responsibility in the hands of the store-owners, but ultimately it is the brand that will take on the negative perception caused by inattentive waiters, poor customer service and long wait times. Customer Experience measurement programs like mystery shopping can help brand leadership retain a consistent identity throughout all levels of the organization by offering unbiased branch performance data.

In practice, these mystery shopping measurement programs can take several different forms, but ultimately the focus should be on each branch’s ability to excel in the following ways: product quality, speed and quality of service, presentation and overall cleanliness. Second To None has vast experience working with pizza brands to measure these aspects of the brand experience. Our network of over 450,000 evaluators across the country is trained to discretely measure these attributes so that your team has quantifiable data that can be used to determine the appropriate path to success. Once we have collected the data, it is reviewed by two separate quality assurance specialists and uploaded onto our proprietary Catapult reporting portal that allows your team to easily disseminate the information across your branch network. Additionally, our analytics team has the know-how to read through the data collected across your store network and identify key drivers for positive change and help your team create a consistent brand experience, regardless if a customer is in Omaha or Los Angeles.

A well-executed mystery shopping can have a tremendous impact on your pizza brand because it offers you quality data regarding the way that customers perceive your brand experience in real-time. Rather than relying solely on customer feedback surveys or social media reviews, adding a mystery shopping program to your brand experience measurement playbook grants your team the ability to make informed decisions about the direction of your brand. If your pizza chain is experiencing rapid growth, Second To None can help you retain the brand identity that brought you success and provide quality data and insights used to push your organization further towards complete customer-centricity.


Second To None empowers customer-centric brands to deliver consistent, intentional and authentic consumer experiences.

We adeptly design and manage mystery shopping, compliance, engagement and voice of customer solutions grounded in strategic relevance, program integrity and actionable insights. Our solutions are developed on the basis of solid research and statistical science. We achieve success through a relentless focus on quality and innovation, consultative relationships and a talented team of professional associates.

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