A recent study into service levels at thirteen high street restaurant chains by research services company Grass Roots, found that over two-thirds of diners would rather use money-off vouchers to reduce the amount they spend on a meal, rather than cut back on eating out.
But despite this, 95 per cent of diners using vouchers said they would only return to the restaurant if they had a good experience.
The study, carried out during 260 mystery shopper visits where diners assessed overall levels of service at restaurant brands such as Wagamama, Harvester, Pizza Express and Loch Fyne, found that waiters’ service skills could be improved across the board.
Almost 90 per cent of diners who experienced a delay for their food did not receive an apology or acknowledgement; half of the diners found waiting staff didn’t offer or upsell additional items; and 15 per cent of waiting staff didn’t check diners were happy with their meals at all.
Jamie Thorpe, group project director at Grass Roots said: “It is interesting to see that customers of all ages are using promotional vouchers to lower their spend at restaurants whilst maintaining the number of times they eat out. This is very encouraging news for restaurant brands in today’s climate. However, restaurant managers need to seize this opportunity to ensure that their serving staff communicate waiting times, additional items to accompany orders and satisfaction checks better to customers.”
Almost 50 per cent of diners who weren’t checked on during their experience said they would not return to the restaurant.