Restaurants

Consumer expectations of food quality increases, study finds

Consumer expectations around food quality in pubs and bars have soared between February and September 2019, according to a study by online review company Feed It Back.

Through an in-depth analysis of reviews across the pub and bar sector, Feed It Back found negative reviews left around food quality have increased by 10% – rising from 8% to 18% over the last seven months.

Food quality is now the leading reason for negative feedback in the sector – overtaking speed of service, which now sits at number two, accounting for 17% of negative reviews over the same time period.

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It also found the restaurant sector has seen a spike in complaints around value for money, with the percentage share of negative reviews up 3% – from 9% to 12%.

Speed of service remains the biggest gripe for restaurant customers, with 21% of negative reviews in September 2019 relating to wait times. Despite staying at the top spot, negative feedback around speed of service fell by 4% since February 2019 – now accounting for 17% of all negative reviews in the sector.

Feed It Back CEO, Carlo Platia, said: “It’s really interesting to see such a dramatic spike in consumer expectations of the food offering in pubs and bars, particularly in such a short space of time. This increase can be partly attributed to the fantastic range of choice in the UK eating out market.

“The data also shows that value has become a key purchasing driver for customers. With profit margin pressures increasing, and consumer confidence waning, it is incredibly important for restaurant operators not to cross the fine line between balancing margins and creating memorable, good value, guest experiences.”

She added: “With ever evolving consumer demands, it’s imperative that operators are doing all in their power to adapt, and make the necessary tweaks to their offer. Technology, data and insight allows them to do this accordingly.”

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