New Study Finds Restaurant Diners Want to Be Heard

Jul 12, 2016 Industry News
Industry News

According to findings from a new survey released by Original Review, a provider of in-house restaurant review technology for real-time diner feedback, restaurant goers are skeptical of restaurant review sites, favor a friend’s recommendation, like promotions, and will give a restaurant a second chance if they feel their complaints are heard and acknowledged after a poor dining experience.

The online national survey polled 500 men and women, ages 21 and older, living within 20 miles of a major metropolitan area, who have used a restaurant review site at least once.

Nearly 70 percent of consumers have a significant distrust of restaurant review sites; more than 50 percent of respondents were aware of scandals around fraudulent reviews.

Ninety-five percent of respondents say they use review sites to search for new restaurants; over 70 percent of respondents are concerned if reviews are old or sparse .

More than 50 percent of consumers surveyed will not visit a restaurant if they see just 2-4 negative reviews and more than 75 percent of respondents want to see 2-9 positive reviews before trying a new restaurant.

A reported 47.8 percent of respondents only use a review site once in a while, however, 80 percent would use a review site if they knew reviews were posted from within the restaurant.

Ninety percent of respondents would participate in using a fast and easy way to comment on their dining experience if they knew that management would see it.

“The survey provides excellent insight as to what consumers expect from review sites, their dining experience and when things go wrong,” says Debra Lukacsko, Original Review co-founder and CEO. “Consumers will use a review site that they feel is trustworthy and are more than willing to provide feedback when it is easy to do so and they feel they are being heard.”

A poor dining experience can result in the loss of a customer: 92 percent of the respondents indicated that they have stopped visiting a restaurant because of one bad experience with food. For many respondents, the key to turning around a poor dining experience is feeling like their concerns are truly being heard:

Seventy-one percent of respondents have stopped visiting a restaurant because of one bad experience with service.

Almost all respondents (90 percent) say they would likely return to a restaurant where they had a bad experience with food or service if they had the ability to communicate directly with management and felt their concerns were taken seriously and there was an effort made to make it better.

Other notable findings include:

  • More than 84 percent of respondents appreciate it when restaurants reach out with specials and would give their email to receive special discounts and promotions.
  • Nearly 60 percent of respondents are very likely to return to a restaurant if they are offered a gift on their birthday or anniversary.
  • Appreciation is key: respondents agree (95 percent) that they feel more appreciated by a restaurant when they feel their feedback is taken seriously.

“Most of the time when a diner has a bad experience at a restaurant, they leave and never come back. With the OR platform, owners and managers can get alerted immediately if customer feedback is negative and address any issues. From the survey, we know that addressing issues before a customer leaves unhappy is a big opportunity, as is the opportunity to gather emails and birthdays for promotions, ” adds Lukacsko.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.