Service Remains Key Differentiator for Top Performing Restaurants

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

Recent research by TDn2K™ through White Box Social Intelligence data has shown that guests are very aware of what their service expectations are when visiting a restaurant, regardless of dining segment. In the case of counter service brands (quick service and fast casual), it would be easy to dismiss service as less important. However, the latest data shows that during the second quarter, top performing brands based on same-store sales growth received much more positive service mentions than the median performance for these segments as well as the worst performing brands. Service continues to be one of the key drivers of superior restaurant performance. For table-service brands, service is expected to have a big part in a brand's success (and it does), but what the latest data shows is that other attributes such as value are also key drivers in these segments. During the second quarter, table service brands with the highest sales growth had 15 percent higher guest satisfaction based on value than brands with the lowest sales growth.

Top DMAS

  • Best Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    cleveland, oh
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    minneapolis, mn
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Intent to Return

    washington, dc
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Beverage

    indianapolis, in
  • Best Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    washington, dc
  • Best Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    cleveland, oh

Bottom DMAS

  • Worst Restaurant Food DMA

    Food

    detroit, mi
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Service

    san francisco-oakland, ca
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Intent to Return

    detroit, mi
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Beverages

    minneapolis, mn
  • Worst Restaurant Service DMA

    Ambiance

    detroit, mi
  • Worst Restaurant Value DMA

    Value

    atlanta, ga

During June, restaurant guests in major cities of the Midwest reported significantly more positive dining experiences than in recent months. Restaurant guests in Cleveland, Minneapolis and Indianapolis reported the most positive guest sentiment for four of the six guest satisfaction attributes tracked. Cleveland had the most positive sentiment based on food and value mentions. However, among the 25 largest DMAs in the country, Washington, D.C. captured the top spot for what appears to be the most important attribute - intent to return. TDn2K research has shown that this attribute has been the most predictive of top restaurant performance based on same-store sales. In the case of Washington, it was one of the six markets that was able to achieve positive sales growth during June and among the top five markets based on same-store traffic growth for the same month. As a comparison, this market's same-store sales growth had been negative the previous two months. By contrast, Detroit has been a frequent entry for least positive sentiment throughout the year, according to these satisfaction attributes. During June, restaurant guests in this market expressed having the least positive satisfaction scores based on food and intent to return.

Best & Worst Regions

Best
  • mountain plains56.0% Positive
  • midwest54.3% Positive
  • southwest54.1% Positive
Worst
  • california47.7% Positive
  • new england47.0% Positive
  • ny-nj45.9% Positive

Restaurant guests in the Mountain Plains tend to view their restaurant experiences more favorably than in the rest of the country. For the sixth consecutive month, this region had the most positive restaurant guest sentiment. Tied for second in positive sentiment during June were the Midwest and Southwest. Guests in the New York-New Jersey and New England regions continued reporting the least positive sentiment for restaurant experiences during June.

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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.