Guest Intent To Return Soars As Restaurants Continue To Improve Their Sales

Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot™

Top 5 Restaurant Brands

Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Food

Food

  • The Capital Grille
  • Eddie V's
  • Seasons 52
  • Firebird's
  • Fleming's
Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Service

Service

  • the Capital Grille
  • Eddie V's
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Seasons 52
  • City Barbeque
Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Intent to Return

Intent to Return

  • the Capital Grille
  • Eddie V's
  • Fleming's
  • Seasons 52
  • wildflower

Connecting the Dots on Performance

As chain restaurants continue to struggle through years of decreasing guest counts and anemic same-store sales growth after two years of declining sales, it is more important than ever to determine the traits of top performing restaurant brands and the metrics that differentiate them from the rest. According to TDn2K studies, there is a clear connection between employee retention (particularly restaurant management retention), guest sentiment and a brand's sales and traffic growth results. Restaurant operators frequently mention staffing as one of the biggest challenges they are facing this year. But top performing companies, based on their same-store sales growth, are improving on manager retention. Based on Black Box Intelligence numbers, during Q2 of 2018 these top performers saw restaurant manager annual turnover rates 21.8 percentage points lower than companies that had the worst sales growth results. At the same time, those restaurants with the highest sales growth rates also had guest sentiment that was 16.2 percentage points higher based on their intent to return. The data shows there is a perceivable difference in the guest experience, particularly for service, in top performing brands and this difference is frequently associated with superior employee retention.

Top DMAS

  • Best Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    orlando, fl
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    orlando, fl
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Intent to Return

    sacramento, ca
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Beverage

    sacramento, ca
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    orlando, fl
  • Best Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    sacramento, ca

Bottom DMAS

  • Worst Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    los angeles, ca
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    los angeles, ca
  • Intent to Return

    seattle, wa
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Beverages

    nashville, tn
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    los angeles, ca
  • Worst Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    los angeles, ca

Among the 25 largest markets in the country, the leaders in positive restaurant sentiment during July were limited to only two DMAs. Orlando, which has frequently topped the list for many of these restaurant guest sentiment attributes in the past, had the most positive for food, service, and ambiance. Guests in Sacramento had the most positive online mentions and reviews for the restaurants they visited based on their beverage, value, and overall intent to return. On the other end of the spectrum, guests in Los Angeles had the least positive sentiment on their restaurant experiences during July, demonstrating the weakest sentiment based on food, service, ambiance and value. In the case of this DMA, it seems to be a case of guests becoming more demanding of their restaurant experiences. Los Angeles was consistently featured as the most positive in several of these attributes until May, when it moved from that top spot for all attributes. It is currently the market showing the least positive sentiment in four of six attributes in July. Los Angeles, however, is the DMA with the third largest average same-store traffic growth rate for the last three months among the largest markets in the country. Guests there have proven they want to visit restaurants more often and continue to do so, but their expectations are high.

Best & Worst Regions

Best
  • mountain plains38.3% Positive
  • florida36.4% Positive
  • southwest35.9% Positive
Worst
  • california31.8% Positive
  • new england31.1% Positive
  • ny-nj31.1% Positive

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The Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot is produced by White Box Social Intelligence™, a TDn2K company™. WBSI is tracking over 192 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.