Ascot Racecourse Case Study

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Ascot Racecourse Case Study

Ascot cases study

Their Story


Royal Ascot is Britain’s most prestigious racing event with upwards of 250,000 people visiting the event every year.

After two years of disruption from the Covid pandemic, Royal Ascot returned in 2022 with the largest offering of food and beverage units the event has ever had.


  • Lack of visibility into how visitors perceived the event
  • No viable method to measure the performance of individual food and drink units
  • Feedback about poor performance would come in too late and couldn't be used to fix things whilst the event was still ongoing


  • Within the setting of a large-scale event, with countless bars, restaurants and food stalls; understanding how well these units perform and measuring guest experiences across complex
    customer journeys would have been a difficult task for Ascot operations team to achieve without the help of a third party expert.
  • Ascot’s operations team wanted to understand visitors’ experience across the duration of the 5-day event, evaluated from a wide variety of experiential aspects, such as atmosphere, entertainment value, food and drinks offering, queue management, product quality, cleanliness, service, pace, etc.
  • Ascot also needed real-time performance alerts so that potential issues could be identified and fixed before the start of the next day. There was additional staffing available for deployment throughout the week, however without specific feedback they may not have known where to focus the effort and put the extra resource to best use.
  • Further, Ascot are always looking to give their guests the best range and quality of food and beverage options for every price point, and so they wanted to measure the performance of
    individual caterers and 3rd party suppliers, to help identify businesses that should and should not be invited back next year.
  • Finally, Ascot wanted to closely monitor the performance of their newest enclosure, ‘The Village’, to gauge what visitors thought of the new area.


1. We implemented Mystery Guest Audits to measure the performance of both Fine Dining establishments and Food & Beverage units (i.e. food and drink stalls).

2. Fine Dining audits were scheduled in the beginning of the week so that learnings could be applied to improve performance during the rest of the week. The management team had access to two different reports per visit. Rapid feedback was provided same day, to identify any potential issues as fast as possible. A thorough report, including detailed comments was provided within 24 hours of the visit.

3. We organised 35x audits per day to F&B units, with feedback submitted within 1-hour post-visit, so that the managing team could review data and proactively address issues in real-time. Repeat audits were set up ad hoc throughout the week to units that had scored negatively, in order to track improvements.

Ascot case study

4. We provided real-time event feedback through 1251 face-to-face interviews, on a short Guest Feedback Site for a large volume of rapid responses.

5. HGEM team were on-site for the duration of the event to manage administrative and analytical tasks, providing a debrief at the end of every day.

6. Real-time negative performance alerts – on any low performance so that action could be taken immediately.

7. Full event debrief - comprehensive analysis of guest experience data provided following the event for key insights and recommendations for improvement for next year.

8. Social reviews – review data from multiple sources, such as, Google and TripAdvisor, was pulled into one dashboard, so all recent (up to 6 months) and new reviews could be viewed and responded to from one central location. We also provided access to competitor data, which was also pulled into the dashboard for benchmarking purposes.


We saw a positive performance trend over all food and beverage sites visited across all enclosures. The average rating across all units improved by 6.25% from Day 1 to Day 5.

We were able to support individual units with real-time feedback, to help them improve performance during the event. A couple of examples:

  • Norfolk Restaurant – Was visited on the 2nd day of the event, the report was reviewed with the location's GM, and the score improved by 21 percentage points on Day 5 - also the busiest day for the event.
  • Pizza and Co – This location was in one of the highest footfall areas in the busiest enclosure, yet after our feedback there was a 6% uplift in score.
  • Front Runner Grill – This location’s scores increased from 80% to 98% by the end of the week after multiple audits.
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