“You don’t have to go far nowadays to get a decent meal” said one respondent in recent research.
Brand Edge do tonnes of research in casual dining and hospitality- much of it is based around new menu launches, food quality and even preferences across 3 different kinds of mashed potato!
All part of the job and we’re great at digging a bit deeper into the “why” behind some of the pretty linear answers – we like to add value through research rather than just answer the questions put in front of us
An aspect of this added value is to identify emergent themes/opportunities and talk to clients about where the focus of their efforts should be going forward. In the context of busy lives, multiple demands on time and the proliferation of leisure choices, one of the things we’re seeing is that food is becoming less important in determining choices
People are evaluating the experience in a rounder way… they want to enjoy the time, as well as the food and the experience as well as the eating. We’ve seen respondents commenting more on the warmth of the welcome than the warmth of the coffee and getting more bent out of shape about the scruffiness of staff trainers than a misplaced block in the Jenga stack of fat chips
So the way brands measure “satisfaction” in this context has to change too. Many operators fixate on customer satisfaction around the food and drink offering (the “hard” and tangible aspects,) but the softer and more intangible elements are increasingly important in delivering a rewarding experience and driving likeability. Zoning, lighting, visual theatre around food preparation, dialling up of pub cues and greater emphasis on personal hospitality
Operators that get this right across all aspects of delivery are the ones that will win in the long run.