Forktales Ep 20 / Zack Oates / Founder of Ovation, Lover of Feedback

My chat with Zack is as high energy and engaging as he is in person. He’s genuinely passionate about the human condition and customer feedback and in this episode we meander through the details of how he founded Ovation, why Ovation is changing the game, and a little insight into his dating life.

  • Ovation is an actionable guest feedback platform that works exclusively with restaurants
  • Named the #1 guest feedback platform in America
  • It’s an omni channel 2 question survey
  • Custom comps are coming out soon, testing live chat on the website, etc.
  • Custom questions in the Ovation app have just launched! 
    • With the longer surveys, you can send a coupon, you can ask about new dishes, favorite dishes, etc.
  • Desert Dorado poem reference… “Listen to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story”
  • Zack’s Book — Dating Never Works… Until It Does


  • “Eighty to ninety percent (depending on the brand) of our customers are going to have a five star experience” -Zack
  • “It’s not just about getting a good rating, it’s about keeping those ratings coming in” -Zack
  • “Online reviews are really critical to every single location” -Zack
  • “We all have something to learn from everyone we meet” -Zack
  • “It’s so important that we’re able to be open to the fact that we’re not perfect” -Zack
  • “When you’re able to empower your staff, Ovation becomes like the superpower” -Zack
  • “You get action from people when there is passion; positive or negative passion” -Joseph
  • “Unfortunately, it’s really easy to trigger negative passion in this industry” -Joseph
  • “One thing that Ovation does is we pick up the people in the middle” -Zack


  • Grew up in the restaurant industry
  • Learned early on that the most important thing is the guest experience
  • Ovation is Zack’s 3rd startup

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