My partner and I eat at a couple of different Bob Evans Restaurants on a fairly regular basis. Several months back they started randomly attaching a survey form to your bill. The form provided an access number and the web site to enter the information. I noticed right off that whenever you had a survey attached to your bill that neither store returned the survey form to you when you paid your bill. So I started tearing off the survey form before paying. After all there is a 0.00001% chance of winning a Bob Evans Gift Card.

Tonight we ate at Bob Evans and one of the waitresses was training a new waitress in our section. The trainer was rather loud so everyone in our section could pretty much hear everything that was said. I pretty much ignored all of this, after all I have eaten and observed things while there such that I already knew most of the stuff she was saying.

The surprise came when we checked out. Our bill had no survey attached but I was using a coupon. When I checked out the trainer was at the cash register and she was explaining everything to the trainee. She instructed her on how to handle coupons, 1) print a copy of the bill, 2) staple the coupon and copy of the bill together, 3) using a large red VOID stamp, stamp the coupon as void, and 4) place the coupon and copy of the bill into a particular bin. Then she was explaining what to select to except a credit card for payment.

As I was finishing up the trainer then started talking about surveys. She told the trainee that if the customer had not removed the survey to save the survey and place it into another bin. I immediately thought, oh they are not encouraging customers to fill out the survey they are saving them and filling them out themselves. That way the store can get a good rating. Thus “Stuffing the Ballot Box”, whether that is what is happening I don’t know but it certainly seems that way.