New data shows that consumers in South African are still highly satisfied with their experiences at family restaurants in the country – but are less impressed than they were last year.
The latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for restaurants showed that Ocean Basket’s customers are the most satisfied customers with a score of 78.6 in the rankings, followed by Wimpy on 77.8.
Both of these restaurants rated on par with the industry average of 77.6 out of 100. Spur and Mugg & Bean received below average scores of on 77.0 and 75.7 respectively.
Consulta, the independent research company that compiled the index, surveyed just under 1,500 randomly selected customers of Mugg & Bean, Ocean Basket, Spur, Wimpy and other local restaurant brands.
The 2016 SAcsi for restaurants benchmarks and blends a Customer Expectations Index, a Service Quality Index, a Product Quality Index, a Perceived Value Index, and a Perceived Quality Index to achieve an overall result out of 100.
Between 2015 and 2016’s results, the whole industry dropped in terms of overall satisfaction.
|Mugg & Bean
The SAcsi provides a weighted average of the various aspects of a customer’s experience with a brand, the degree to which the product or service has met, fallen short of, or exceeded their expectations, and how well it compares to the respondents’ ideal of what they anticipate their experience to be.
“South African restaurant-goers have really high expectations from the franchise restaurants they visit. Excellent value for money, top quality food, quick service and a great overall experience are usually on the menu of demands,” said Prof Adré Schreuder, CEO of Consulta. “If a restaurant can provide all of these, they will score well on the SAcsi.”
Ocean Basket customers have the highest customer expectation, a measure of the customer’s anticipation of the quality of a company’s products or services, with an overall expectation of 80.4 out of 100, slightly exceeding the industry average of 80.0. Spur, Mugg & Bean and Wimpy expectations were in the same range (from 80.3 to 79.7).
The rise of social media and greater access to online news and information has made customers more aware of food and service trends globally, leading to a rise in customer expectations, Schreuder said.
“Restaurants have ever-higher standards to live up to, as consumers have become far more knowledgeable about food through shows like MasterChef, popular cooking and food blogs, social media, and South Africa’s own personality chefs and their globally recognised restaurants,” he said.
“Ocean Basket has tapped into these popular trends, offering new menu items such as tapas-style food, more grilled options, and salad and vegetable sides, while its new Mediterranean sushi menu offers broad family appeal. Ocean Basket’s consistency over the last three years has yielded great results for the brand in 2016.”
Perceived quality of service
In terms of measuring customers’ expectations of service quality, Ocean Basket again led the pack with a score of 82.8 followed by Spur with 82.3, Wimpy with 81.9, and Mugg & Bean with 79.8. The industry average in this category was 80.0.
“Customers inevitably compare the service and product that they experience with what they have come to expect from previous experiences at a restaurant, along with what the brand has promised in its communications,” said Prof Schreuder.
Perceived quality of products
The product quality index measures a customer’s satisfaction of their recent experience at a restaurant and is measured in terms of both customization and reliability.
Compared to the industry average score of 82.5, Ocean Basket and Wimpy both scored 82.7, followed closely by Spur. Mugg & Bean lagged its competitors and the industry average in this criteria.
According to Prof Schreuder, perceived value directly influences a customer’s satisfaction, and whether they will return to a particular brand in the future. Ocean Basket is perceived to offer the greatest value and leads with a score of 79.4, compared to the industry average of 77.6. Wimpy scored on par with the industry average, while both Mugg & Bean and Spur fell short of the industry average.
It is important to note that although perceived value is of great importance for an initial purchase decision, the impact typically diminishes for repeat purchases.
When asked whether customers were likely to recommend a particular brand to their family and friends, the popular metric used in this criteria is the Net Promoter Score.
The Net Promoter Score for Ocean Basket was 36.7%, that led its closest competitor (Spur) in this aspect with more than five percentage points.