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How Casual Dining Restaurants Can Successfully Win More Customers

It’s competitive out there. Today’s environment provides consumers not only a wealth of dining options from which to choose, but instant information at their fingertips. With just a few taps on their smartphone a potential customer can determine which restaurant serves the best burger on the block, which is known for terrible service and which needs to update their décor. They make decisions quickly based on this readily available information. The new norm for casual dining restaurants is to provide a customer experience above the norm.

Here are a few telling statistics that help make the picture even clearer:

  • Casual dining was the weakest performing segment in May of 2017 according to Nation’s Restaurant News, and ended Q2 with a 0.6% same-store sales decline.
  • By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product quality as the key brand differentiator, according to a Walker study.
  • Eighty-six percent (86%) of consumers will pay more for better customer service according to the same study.

So how can operations and marketing leaders ensure each location is meeting or exceeding these new levels of customer service, while also knowing exactly where to focus attention and resources to improve? Launch a mystery shopper program.

The out-dated perception of mystery shopping is that “big brother” is watching or persnickety guests will try and pick out useless details just to try and find something wrong. But today’s extensive programs are designed to measure whether the company’s brand standards and the customers’ expectations are being met; two critical elements in providing an exceptional, differentiated customer experience each and every time.

Effective Mystery Shopper Programs start with a questionnaire designed specifically for retrieving the data a business needs. This data turns into trending information that helps decision makers identify exactly where your time, energy and resources should be allocated. Providing a clear picture of the customer experience ensures brand standards are met and operations and marketing leaders can make quick, effective decisions.

Mystery shopping will help you allocate your dollars more effectively. It also helps businesses retain customers at a higher clip and is much more cost effective than acquiring a new customer.

Want to learn more about rolling out a Mystery Shopper Program for your brand? Contact us for a personalized consultation.