are if customers come into your restaurant they are happier than if they simply
order on-line according to new insights and Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA
based Foodservice Solutions® agrees and wants to share these new insight from Merchant Centric.
this term; The Happy Customer Index, based on Merchant Centric’s proprietary
data, looks at reviews for delivery, to-go, and mobile app experiences. You are
going to want to refer back to it the team at Foodservice Solutions®
believes. Here is what they have to say:
the past three quarters, we’ve taken a look at which fast casual, casual and
fine dining brands perform the best according to customers as part of The Happy Customer Index. The index
leverages Merchant Centric’s proprietary data, which analyzes content from
millions of reviews across sites like Google and TripAdvisor to identify
insights on over 100 key metrics, such as food, cleanliness, staff demeanor,
time around, we’re taking a look at the digitally-enabled off-premises
business, as it remains elevated after an abrupt, pandemic-induced shift. To
better understand digital guests’ satisfaction, Merchant Centric examined
reviews mentioning “to go,” “delivery” and “mobile apps,” which included over
1.25 million reviews from September 2022 to August 2023.
have we learned?
tell us that the digital experience is not nearly as good as dining in;
generally, about three quarters of a star to a full star lower,” said Merchant
Centric Co-Founder Adam Leff. “However, delivery services have been
closing the gap on the to-go experience, improving at a faster rate. Mobile app
mentions do not necessarily refer to offsite ordering but are mentioned the least
and fare the worst.”
the average ratings for these digitally related themes are lower than all
reviews by about 60-to-70 basis points. Consider:
average rating for reviews mentioning “mobile apps” is 2.33 stars out of 5
average rating for reviews mentioning “delivery services” is 3.02 stars out of
average rating of reviews mentioning “to go” is 3.40 stars out of 5 stars.
comparison, the restaurant industry average rating during the same period is
4.11 out of 5 stars.
mobile app experience
biggest disparity between dine-in and digital mentions in reviews came from
mobile app experiences. Low ratings for apps come as more brands double down on
their mobile presence to drive traffic and frequency, whether by updating their
loyalty programs, offering exclusive deals, incentivizing digital orders and
more. The benefits extend to operators, as well, providing deeper consumer
insights and the ability to better personalize messaging. But because consumers
have become so mobile dependent, any subpar experience can lead to frustration.
Taco Bell, for instance, generates 32% of Reddit conversations among the
top 10 quick-service restaurants – far more than its peers – but conversations
have predominantly focused on dissatisfaction with the brand’s app, including
order inaccuracies, glitches, and usability challenges.
That said, there has been
improvement for mobile app performances (10 basis points) based on customers’
reviews, as well as for to-go and delivery experiences. Overall, to-go fared
the best among reviews and was mentioned the most, though delivery improved the
most (14 basis points) throughout the past year.
believes the improvement within the delivery channel is attributable in part to
brands’ increased focus on their digital business – redistributing labor to
digital makelines, for instance, or adding features like pickup shelves,
or location-based or sequencing technology.
“It is no surprise there is a
gap between dine-in and to-go/delivery. People just expect that when they don’t
have the dine-in service or hospitality, it will not be as good,” Leff said.
“To a large degree, they’re forgiving because of this. The important thing is
we’re seeing steady improvement in overall (digital) guest satisfaction.”
Special note: All data and analytics presented in this article are based upon Merchant Centric’s findings and, like all data sets, are inherently limited in scope and nature. Data presented herein may not be comprehensive and may exclude certain brands or brand locations. Data is provided without guarantee as to its accuracy, completeness, or currency, and Merchant Centric expressly disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance on information or opinions included herein.”
Are you trapped doing what you
have always done and doing the same way?
in learning how Foodservice Solutions Five P’s of Food Marketing can edify your
retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient
meal participation, differentiation and
individualization? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us