Over the last decade, some of America’s largest food chains experienced a dramatic decrease in sales and, as a result, have had to close hundreds of locations nationwide. These restaurants have been unable to maintain a loyal customer base and have failed to update, or improve, their brand and/or menu options. Restaurants are constantly facing new challenges, which are a result of the industry dynamic – it is fast-paced and always changing. Therefore, it is more important than ever to engage and understand restaurant patrons.
While they have their own unique set of challenges, studies in the dining industry present important opportunities. These studies offer the chance to capture, understand, and improve upon the customer experience. Capturing a customer’s dining experience reaches well beyond just describing satisfaction with customer service. Opinions of existing or new menu items, monitoring the quality of the food product, as well as gathering input on the comfort and cleanliness of the dining environment, are also of importance and should be measured.
The Olinger Group has conducted numerous restaurant related studies. One example of our experience comes from testing restaurant concepts through a partnership with a well-known hotel and entertainment company. In addition to interviewing customers about their dining preferences, a community/market study was conducted to find out what would be attractive to potential customers.
Another example comes from a partnership with a client that was in the process of changing their menu. After testing the proposed changes, this client determined that the menu was not the issue of concern. It was the need for improved quality controls. Once the changes were implemented, there was an increase in visitation along with an improvement in satisfaction levels.
In addition, our added ability to do a wide range of advanced analytical exercises means we can optimize menu concepts and location characteristics that will provide maximum interest for new, proposed offerings.
major clients/projects in this industry
McDonald’s, Denny’s, Gaylord Entertainment, Harrah’s, Boyd Entertainment
types of studies typically conducted
Customer Satisfaction, Purchasing/Shopping Behavioral Studies, Promotional Events/Products Testing, Menu Testing, Brand Perception/Brand Loyalty, Advertising/Campaign Awareness/Recall and Effectiveness, Services/Offerings Optimization, Concept Testing, Taste Testing, Services/Offerings Feasibility, Market Studies (Target Market/Market Size), On-site Interviews/Intercepts, Mystery Shopping Focus Groups, Multi-cultural Research, In-depth Interviews