Your Value Drives Your Sales & Traffic

Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot™

Top 5 Restaurant Brands

Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Food

Food

Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Service

Service

Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Intent to Return

Intent to Return

Connecting the Dots on Performance

Online intent to return mentions are critical to measure. According to TDn2K research, they are the most accurate predictor of a brand's sales and traffic performance. Restaurant brands with the highest net sentiment for intent to return achieved same-store traffic growth of -2.6 percent during the second quarter of 2017. Brands with the lowest net sentiment for this attribute experienced traffic growth of -5.0 percent. Declining traffic has plagued the industry for years and remains its top challenge. Industry traffic growth during the second quarter of 2017 was -3.1 percent. In the past, we have highlighted the importance of service for restaurant sales performance. Now, in addition to service, value is also driving sales performance. During the first two quarters of 2017, value net sentiment for top-selling restaurant brands was 11 percentage points higher than the worst performing brands. As a comparison, this difference in value net sentiment was only six percentage points in 2016. Recently, restaurants have increased menu prices to offset rising labor costs and lost revenue. Meanwhile, grocery prices have been dropping year over year. In this environment, it makes sense that restaurant brands with better value see better results in the marketplace. This includes brands across all industry segments. So, regardless of price point and service style, consumers have an expectation of value. And, top performing brands tend to have a better value perception among its guests.

Top DMAS

  • Best Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    indianapolis, in
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    tampa, fl
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Intent to Return

    houston, tx
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Beverage

    chicago, il
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    philadelphia, pa
  • Best Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    houston, tx

Bottom DMAS

  • Worst Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    houston, tx
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    denver, co
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Intent to Return

    minneapolis-st. paul, mn
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Beverages

    houston, tx
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    miami, fl
  • Worst Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    detroit, mi

Houston highlighted the relative importance of value for overall guest satisfaction during August. Even though this market had the least positive net sentiment regarding food and beverage during August, it had the most positive net sentiment among major cities regarding value. It also was the city with the most positive net sentiment based on intent to return, suggesting value may be a key driver motivating guests to revisit a restaurant. Same-store sales were decimated there during August due to Hurricane Harvey: sales growth was almost -13 percent for the month, and that only includes the effect of the hurricane during the last three days of the month. This market will need as much help as it can get in upcoming months and nation-leading intent to return offers some small good news for restaurant brands operating in Houston.

Best & Worst Regions

Best
  • ny-nj39.1% Positive
  • mountain plains33.9% Positive
  • florida31.9% Positive
Worst
  • texas28.9% Positive
  • southwest28.0% Positive
  • california27.3% Positive

Restaurant guests in the Mountain Plains region remain pretty positive, as they have since the beginning of the year. However, during August this region fell to second place in the ranking of most positive restaurant sentiment. Guests in the New York/New Jersey region, who have been fairly negative recently, saw a jump in their positive sentiment during August. These guests in New York/New Jersey were not very positive about food or value. But, they were more positive than others when it came to service perception and the very important intent to return metric. On the other hand, guests in California have been reporting less positive restaurant experiences. Despite this, same-store sales growth in this region has trended among the best in the country in recent years. A bigger issue occurs in Texas and the Southwest. Not only have these regions been among the worst three regions for positive guest sentiment in the last two months, they also have a relatively low net sentiment and constantly rank among the worst regions in the country based on their same-store sales growth.

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The Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot is produced by White Box Social Intelligence™, a TDn2K company™. WBSI is tracking over 550 brands to benchmark customer satisfaction and is the only online tool that integrates with operational performance data to validate the impact on financial performance. The algorithm determining ranking brands is based on sentiment and determined by White Box Social Intelligence. Brands included in this monthly snapshot must have a total of at least 250 mentions for the month. Restaurants must have a minimum number of units to be eligible as well. DMA rankings consider only the largest 25 areas.