Visits to casual dining chains rose by 900 million over the past six years, according to research from the NPD Group, which compared figures from March 2015 to those of March 2009.
Throughout the recession, visits to the British foodservice sector fell overall by 500 million, but casual dining operators’ value and consistent customer service experience helped them increase visitor numbers. In the year to March 2015, visits to chain restaurants hit 6 billion.
The news came as NPD revealed casual dining chains are topping the foodservice sector for customer satisfaction.
The Group’s research found that consumers said they felt ‘strong overall satisfaction’ with 77% of visits to casual dining chains in the year to March 2015. Restaurant guests rated their overall experience as either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’, representing an increase of 10% since the year ending March 2009.
The survey found that the quality and taste of food was a considerable factor in driving up overall satisfaction.
Cyril Lavenant, NPD’s director of foodservice for the UK and France, said “The choice of an outlet either for food or beverages is driven less by the need for convenience or by ‘habit’. Consumers are more likely to make decisions based on quality and variety of food, as well as price. Foodservice outlets need to understand those are all parts of creating that sense of ‘overall satisfaction’ if they are to drive footfall.”
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