What a taco restaurant can teach us about short employee surveys.


Here’s a problem with many surveys: They’re boring. Same format, same questions, same rating scale—although these elements may be technically correct, they add up to a dull experience for the participant.

That’s why this comment card is so refreshing. My colleagues picked it up when they were getting takeout last week from Tito’s Burritos, a three-store chain of Mexican restaurants in northern New Jersey.

In addition to great food (The chips, in particular, are amazing!), Tito’s has a very distinct brand, starring a character named . . . well, you guessed it. It’s a little unclear whether Tito exists, but his persona is used to good effect by the chain.

And that’s why the first element of the comment card works: Customers recognize Tito, so it makes perfect sense to “complete his face to describe your experience.”

The other unexpected element is the conversational tone. Rather than write in a formal way, the comment card is informal and even playful. (“No bad stuff? That’s good stuff for us!")

The card isn’t perfect, of course: There are no closed-ended questions, so no data will result. And every survey instrument should specify how the feedback will be used (and the company should communicate in other channels how feedback has improved products or service).

But here is the takeaway: Surveys don’t have to be boring. Add a few unexpected elements, and suddenly a survey can be fun.

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