Good Food and Beverage Not Enough to Overcome Sales and Traffic Downturn

Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot™

Top 5 Restaurant Brands

Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Food

Food

  • Eddie V's Prime Seafood
  • The Capital Grille
  • Season's 52
  • Fish City Grill
  • Longhorn Steakhouse
Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Service

Service

  • Ocean Prime
  • The Capital Grille
  • Eddie V's Prime Seafood
  • Season's 52
  • Fleming's Steakhouse
Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Intent to Return

Intent to Return

  • The Capital Grille
  • Eddie V's Prime Seafood
  • Tupelo Honey
  • Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub
  • Morton's the Steakhouse

Connecting the Dots on Performance

Food & Beverage are table-stakes. Sentiment around these attributes don’t indicate increased sales & traffic performance for restaurants.
To drive increased sales & traffic, brands should focus on service and ambiance.

Analysis by TDn2K has shown, in the current environment, brands with the most success in the marketplace are not necessarily leveraging their food or beverage offerings to differentiate from the rest. This may be counterintuitive, especially when talking about what restaurants do in the most basic of terms. After all, they sell food and beverages to their guests.

This does not mean, however, that food and beverage are not important to guests. What the data suggests is there is little difference in guest perception between the food and beverage of top performing brands compared to the rest of the industry. It is important to mention that those top performing restaurant brands are typically able to grow their comparable guest counts amid this downturn in traffic experienced by the rest of the industry.

So what are the differentiating factors for those top performing brands? What are their guests perceiving as better in terms of what they experience that they are rewarding with incremental visits and sales dollars?

TDn2K results from the second quarter highlighted once again that service and ambiance remain the two key areas of the restaurant experience that most differentiate top performing restaurant brands.

Furthermore, these attributes are key differentiators across industry segments. So although the expectation of service and ambiance may be different for the same guest when visiting the quick service restaurant closest to their workplace or their favorite casual dining spot for dinner with the family, those different expectations better be met by each restaurant if they are to be successful and win the market share battle.

Top DMAS

  • Best Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    orlando, fl
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    orlando, fl
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Intent to Return

    new york, ny
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Beverage

    philadelphia, pa
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    orlando, fl
  • Best Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    orlando, fl

Bottom DMAS

  • Worst Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    raleigh, nc
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    san francisco, ca
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Intent to Return

    raleigh, nc
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Beverages

    raleigh, nc
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    raleigh, nc
  • Worst Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    los angeles, ca

If you operate restaurants in Orlando, you probably need to adjust your guest feedback expectations to account for the fact that, in terms of rating restaurant experiences, guests in that market are simply the most positive out of all major DMAs in the country. Once again, guests in Orlando had the most positive sentiment based on most of the attributes tracked.

A departure from the trend in July was finding New York among the DMAs with the most positive guest sentiment based on their intent to return. The norm has been for guests in this market to be much less positive across all restaurant attributes.

On the opposite end of the sentiment spectrum, guests in Raleigh were the least positive among major US cities when discussing their experiences with restaurant food, beverage, ambiance and intent to return during July.

Best & Worst Regions

Best
  • florida63.9% Positive
  • western60.2% Positive
  • mountain plains57.4% Positive
Worst
  • california55.2% Positive
  • new england53.2% Positive
  • ny-nj52.5% Positive

As has been the case recently, all regions of the country experienced over 50 percent of all their restaurant-related mentions and reviews classified as positive during July. The region with the most positive sentiment, once again, was Florida. This was the only region that achieved over 60 percent positive mentions during the month.

The regional data reveals that, at a high level, restaurants are doing a good job improving guest sentiment. However, it simply may not be happening in the key areas of service and ambiance. Nine of the eleven regions of the country experienced more positive guest sentiment in July compared with the average for the previous three months.

As has been common in the past, guests in the New York-New Jersey and New England regions rated their restaurant experiences in less positive terms than the rest of the country. Finding California among the least positive regions was different for this month.

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The Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot is produced by White Box Social Intelligence™, a TDn2K Product™. 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.

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