Customers value ‘quality service’ above all, report finds

Some 63% of consumers believe that quality service is the most important factor when eating out, according to a new report.

The Brigad Talent Trends report 2020, also revealed the top three frustrations that consumers faced in hospitality are: unhelpful staff (47%), slow service (41%), and staff who weren’t knowledgeable enough about facilities and menus (24%).

The report, commissioned by the hospitality platform, also warned that a “potential talent drain” in the industry could “impact the quality of service that consumers expect and are demanding at increasingly high levels”.

Of the independent professionals surveyed in the report, 78% felt that the industry was “lagging behind” in terms of work/life balance. Over 33% said they are considering leaving the sector this year, citing bad pay, long hours and work/life balance as reasons for leaving. The findings “clearly show that more needs to be done to keep talent”.

The report also revealed that 25% of diners preferred locally sourced menus with limited airmiles, while 64% said that it was “key” to know where their food was sourced from. 

One in five customers were “put off” returning to a restaurant if the staff could not explain where the food was sourced. Brigad said it was “crucial that the industry invests in upskilling and educating” staff on provenance.

Brigad UK country manager, Johan De Jager, said: “It’s clear from our research that the customer prioritises top level service, yet evidently many hospitality professionals do not feel the industry is doing enough to address key issues such as work/life balance, pay, working conditions and training.

“It can be really challenging for business owners and managers to cater to the ever evolving needs of customers and the seasonal peaks in demand, whilst also trying to ensure work/life balance in an industry which is naturally 24/7.”

He added: “Training and upskilling its professionals to ensure that they maintain exceptional service and product delivery in 2020 needs to be a priority for the industry.

“There are some incredibly talented and passionate people that work in our sector and so we must make sure we are retaining and attracting the best talent into such a people-centred industry to ensure we can meet the demands of today’s consumer.”

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