For the food services industry, keeping your patrons happy, isn’t just about meeting expectations – but rather exceeding them. Today, overall guest experience serves as a monumental driver in both satisfaction and revenue. In fact, according to Bain and Co., Companies with a customer experience mindset drive revenue 4-8% higher than the rest of their industries, in addition, PWC reported 73% of consumers citing good experience as key in influencing brand loyalties.
In this article, in order to shed light on the importance of customer experience within the food service industry, we’re sharing 10 pivotal CX statistics in addition to our best practices for delivering an unparalleled experience.
10 Leading CX Statistics For Food Services
- 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand. (Microsoft)
- Customer-centric companies were 60% more profitable compared to companies that were not focused on the customer. (Deloitte)
- 83% of companies that believe it’s important to make customers happy also experience growing revenue. (Hubspot)
- Companies with initiatives to improve their customer experience see employee engagement increase by 20% on average. (McKinsey & Company)
- In the United States alone, diners have spent approximately $27 billion by ordering food through an app, website, or text message. (National Public Radio)
- The number of companies investing in the omni-channel experience has jumped from 20% to more than 80% since 2020 (PWC)
- 44% of Consumers say they placed a food order for takeout or delivery using a restaurant app or website during the past year. (National Restaurant Association)
- 77% of consumers view brands more favourably if they seek out and apply customer feedback. (Microsoft)
- 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. (INC Magazine)
- 95 percent of diners would return to a restaurant “if the staff catered specifically to their personal preferences.” (OpenTable)
As evidence through these statistics, experience is a critical element of both guest satisfaction and business success, especially in the world of food service. In order to help you build loyalty and boost bottom lines, in this next section we’re outlining the top best practices for providing an unparalleled customer experience.
4 Ways To Enhance Customer Experience In The Food Service Industry
Tailor Menu Options
When it comes to offering delicious meals and a positive dining experience, offering a menu with items your guests want and are asking for, is critical. Today there are a range of food options and trends that fluctuate and are pivotal to understand in order to drive success. For instance, according to the National Restaurant Association’s list of top 10 restaurant trends, locally grown food has been a top consideration for consumers for multiple years. In addition, fresh, organic foods that promote wellness remain a priority. For a diner, enhance the experience by inquiring about food preferences via a customer experience solution and then delivering on it. Not only does this satisfy your patrons but it also shows that you care about their feedback.
With the Loop Experience Platform, you can easily obtain customer feedback in real-time to effectively adjust food options and enhance quality. Create customized surveys with questions such as “How was your food experience today?” or “What food options would you like to see?” With the Loop platform, you can ask specific feedback questions that ensure you’re receiving insight on preferred menu items and can tailor the menu accordingly.
Create An Entire Experience
Today’s customer wants engaging experiences, in fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for one. For food services, this means offering more than the traditional “grab and go” method. Patrons today gravitate towards environments with creative/aesthetic design, live cooking, menus with variety, and staff that engages throughout the entire experience. Therefore it’s important to understand new trends as well as ways you can make the dining experience more memorable. Whether you research or simply ask your customers their preferences, 76% of consumers prefer to spend on experiences, so opting for an entire experience will drive success and satisfaction.
As aforementioned, investing in a customer experience platform can help alleviate the stress of uncovering new trends. With the Loop Experience Platform for example, you can collect feedback from your patrons and have a better understanding of what their preferences are. When building an experience for your guests, ensure you’ve generated questions that provide you a holistic understanding of their needs.
Offer Multiple Channels For Communication
Within the realm of food service, there are many moments of truth that guests look to communicate with. Whether it is feedback after their meal in a cafeteria, an in-app request, or an email to management about a specific incident, open communication can help bridge the gap and continuously improve the experience.
With the Loop Experience Platform for instance, businesses can offer a range of channels suited to the customer’s unique needs and manage them all from a single inbox. This real-time communication can assist management in recovering guests in the moment. Further, it can provide patrons with information in a timely manner. For example, let’s say a diner is at a cafeteria and is frustrated that there are no condiments for their meal, however, there are condiments available the patron just can’t find them. With a text number, app, or table tent card with a QR code, the guest can write in and express their sentiments. Management or an employee can see this information formulated in real-time and actually inform the guest of the location of the condiments. Furthermore, if this is a recurring request, management can see the trend within Loop’s robust analytics and request the condiment table be moved to a more visible and accessible space.
Ensure Seamless Operations
In order to enhance the experience, seamless operations are a necessity. During peak hours customers or employees can face long line ups and sometimes crowds. For some, this can detract from lunch hours, lead to frustration and take away from the overall experience. In order to appease the diner, it’s important to ensure the backend is prepared, inventory is sufficient and there is an adequate number of staff on the floor.
This, can easily be streamlined with an experience platform that provides data and analytics. With Loop CX, for instance, management can see specific time and days in which their establishment has an influx of patrons. In addition, Loop can measure the overall satisfaction of the individuals who write in and provide feedback to make the experience more seamless. In this way, food services can allocate the appropriate time, money, people, and resources to the specific day and times of the week that are demanded.