Customer Service in Restaurants Continues to Improve

Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot™

Top 5 Restaurant Brands

Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Food

Food

  • Wawa
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Papa Murphy's
  • Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt
  • Freebirds
Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Service

Service

  • Chick-fil-a
  • Sullivan's Steakhouse
  • First Watch - The daytime cafe
  • Il Fornaio
  • Wawa
Best Restaurants Rated Socially for Intent to Return

Intent to Return

  • Snap Kitchen
  • Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt
  • A&W - All American Food
  • Wawa
  • First Watch - The Daytime Cafe

Connecting the Dots on Performance

The latest TDn2K™ analysis revealed that the key guest satisfaction differentiator between table service brands that achieved top same-store sales performance and those that only obtained median sales growth, was service in the second quarter. Top performing brands also tend to have better guest sentiment associated with their other attributes, such as food, beverage and value, but service continues to be the attribute that drives the biggest differential for top performers.

In the case of counter service brands (fast casual and quick service), service is virtually tied with ambiance as the two attributes that most differentiated top performers based on same-store sales. Guests seem to be rewarding those counter service brands that provide good service in appealing, clean locations.

Additionally, White Box Social Intelligence data continues to support the theory that online guest mentions, both positive and negative, can be accurate reflections of restaurant brand performance. Contrary to conventional wisdom, even brands with lowest sales growth performance had net positive guest sentiment in the second quarter. However, top performers based on same-store sales growth had net positive sentiment that was seven percentage points higher than those in the bottom sales performance category.

Top DMAS

  • Best Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    phoenix, az
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    orlando, fl
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Intent to Return

    los angeles, ca
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Beverage

    detroit, mi
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    phoenix, az
  • Best Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    los angeles, ca

Bottom DMAS

  • Worst Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    denver, co
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    san francisco-oakland, ca
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Intent to Return

    st louis, mo
  • Beverages

    seattle, wa
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    charlotte, nc
  • Worst Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    nashville, tn

Major cities in California and Arizona led the country based on positive restaurant guest satisfaction. Not surprisingly, the same market had the most positive guest sentiment based on restaurant value and intent to return during July. Value is an important driver of restaurant consumer behavior and it seems that restaurants in Los Angeles delivered on value and restaurant guests are responding by pledging to return. The market with the most positive guest sentiment centered around food and ambiance was Phoenix. When it comes to cities with the least positive restaurant sentiment during July, the results are a mixed bag. Different cities and regions of the country are represented for each of the six attributes measured. Restaurant guests in Denver seem to have been the most demanding regarding the food, while the market least satisfied with service was San Francisco-Oakland.

Best & Worst Regions

Best
  • mountain plains36.9% Positive
  • midwest33.7% Positive
  • western32.8% Positive
Worst
  • ny-nj29.2% Positive
  • california29.0% Positive
  • texas27.3% Positive

A solid trend that continued through July was that restaurant guests in the Mountain Plains region tend to rate their restaurant experiences as the most positive out of all the regions in the country. Restaurant brands operating there should expect better satisfaction scores there than anywhere else in the country. Guest satisfaction fell during July in Texas and California, surpassing New York/New Jersey and New England as the least satisfied restaurant guests in the country. New York/New Jersey and New England had been the least positive in recent months.

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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.