Relish Works is an innovation and strategy studio helping restaurants meet the moment presented by an ever-changing landscape.
In the following case study, Innovation Studio Director Kate Micheels and Design Director Fernando de Buen Lopez describe how their team translated an opportunity facing the entire industry—the crisis of labor—into a quick-turn mixed-methods study.
On the impetus to launch research
Fernando: The industry was and still is facing a complex set of issues around staffing. Recruitment, retention, and development were on the minds of operators before the pandemic, which turned the heat up on all of this.
Most immediately, the restaurant's unemployment rate was double the national average and operators were asking what needed to change so that they were ready for whatever the new normal of food service was.
How dscout fit into their research plan
Kate: The scout panel is full of consumers who really represent the folks comprising this industry, especially from the worker side. We wanted to quickly recruit a national sample of industry workers across restaurant type, work mode, and experience. dscout's panel made it easy to choose, as it augmented our secondary work we were already doing to unpack the operator side of things.
Fernando: To that I would add the ability to collect quant and qual data—at relative scale—in the same study. This industry moves fast and is always looking for quick wins.
dscout's ability to give us moderated interviews and a survey without a separate recruit was a nice fit for our needs here. The tool gave us the chance to conduct a relatively quick, mixed-methods study with a national sample. When we added up what we needed and the timeline, dscout just fit really well.
Design Director, Innovation Studio
And even though I knew the video responses would be powerful to our team, I didn't quite grasp the combination of authenticity and scale. We collected over 800 minutes of media from that survey alone!
In a way, the Express mission was like having over 400 two-minute interviews. Our team approached the analysis of these shorter "interviews" much the same way we would longer ones.
On the results
Fernando: As a result, our interview guides could be much more tailored and focused, and we were able to maximize their time and ours, getting to some core elements of their experience in this industry.
It made for a richer, deeper conversation and I felt like the participants had a better experience, too. They knew more about the general goals of the study and why we were curious to sit down with them.
Overall, the process of launching the Express mission and then the Live ones helped us cater our interviews more to the specific person and their story.