If you’ve been following the news lately, restaurants throughout the world are experiencing a hiring shortage. In the USA, almost half of restaurants are operating with 20% less staff than usual, the National Restaurant Association found. At Coyle, we wondered how staffing shortages translated to guest experience. It’s no surprise that when staffing levels are reduced, customer experience takes a hit.
Using our vast global consumer panel, we set out to gauge how key attributes of in-person restaurant dining were being perceived by guests. We looked at the following topics:
- Timing / speed of service
- Menu variety / options
- Food quality / taste
- Staff friendliness
- Facility condition (e.g., maintenance)
- Value for money
In a survey of 349 global restaurant goers who dined out at least once in the past 30 days, timing/speed of service is by far the biggest cause of experience not meeting expectations–3x over any other service-related detractor. When isolating results to specific geographic regions, three states – California, Florida, and Arizona – accounted for 44% of these results. See full results below:
As operators, we understand that being short staffed can lead to cuts in service and “dropping” the niceties. As we ramp up for a busy rest of the year, it’s important to acknowledge that service speed is a critical guest desire but obviously must be balanced with food quality, consistency and staff demeanor. Many of our clients have slimmed down their menus in an effort to offer dishes with consistent and reliable ticket times.
However you are managing your labor during this time, keeping your eye on the ball and listening to your guests is the most important thing you can do.
If you’d like to learn more about Coyle’s mystery shopping and guest feedback programs, contact us today for a free consultation.