The survey, conducted by hospitality software company Fourth across a nationally representative panel of 1,500 consumers, found that diners aged between 16 and 29 years old were twice as likely to leave a negative review than 45-59 year olds.
Overall, diners of all ages preferred to leave details of a positive eating out experience, however, with the research showing that the vast majority of customers – 85% - would be more inclined to leave a positive dining review than a negative one.
Customers left on average 3.4 reviews a year, according to Fourth, with the core drivers behind leaving a positive review were quality food (87%), attentive staff (69.4%) and quick service (46.7%).
The main factors influencing a negative review were poor quality food (78.8%), rude staff (68.6%), and the waiting time for food (61.9%).
The survey also revealed that operators had the best chance of mitigating a negative review by discounting the bill (58.2%), ensuring that they provided great service throughout the meal (46.2%), or the offer of a complimentary return visit (39.2%).
“It is clear that the younger, tech-savvy generations are more critical than the older generations when it comes to leaving negative feedback,” says Catherine Marshall, communications director at Fourth. “Forward-thinking operators seeking to future proof their business are tracking, analysing and acting upon customer sentiment.”