Restaurant customers are comfortable

South Africans are generally comfortable with the service dished out at some of the biggest restaurant franchises in the country. Ocean Basket, due to an apparent owner manager personal touch, is among names commanding a high satisfaction score in the full service restaurant industry.

This is suggested in the first restaurant focused South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi). The index show restaurant customers rated their satisfaction with the restaurant franchise industry as 77 out of 100.

Released this week, the results of the restaurant focused SAcsi survey placed South Africa’s score at the third position in an international rank.

The South African full service restaurants measured were Mugg & Bean, Ocean Basket, Spur, and Wimpy based on market share. The SAcsi statement said for the first time, the index included a category for “other” brands, which are typically challenger brands in the industry that are not reported on separately. Ocean Basket shares the top rating with the “other” restaurants by scoring 3.4% above the industry average. Spur and Mugg & Bean reported scores on par with the industry average and Wimpy’s satisfaction score was 1.7% below the industry average.

SAcsi operates under the internationalising American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) which allows South Africa to compare its industries’ customer satisfaction against global benchmark.

In the global benchmark South Africa’s restaurant satisfaction score of 77 comes after the 82 achieved by the US, and the UK’s 78. South Korea is fourth with a score of 70.

Sacsi founder and chair, Prof Andre Schreuder, said “Customer satisfaction is determined by three key causal factors in the SAcsi model – namely expectations (prior to interaction with the brand), perception (the actual experience of the brand) and the perceived value given the price and quality of the brand.

“Ocean Basket has scored tops in perceived quality and perceived value and this has contributed to its above-average satisfaction score. By comparison, Mugg & Bean received a lower perceived value rating and is generally seen to be more expensive by respondents. Full service restaurants in the “other” category are typically smaller, owner-driven businesses and it follows that customers experience a more personal touch. When it comes to customers’ future loyalty to the brand, the “other” category restaurants are at a disadvantage to Ocean Basket, which scored a much higher loyalty rating due to their larger footprint and availability.”

Schreuder said the full service restaurant industry for achieving a high customer satisfaction score, and encourages them to maintain a customer-centric focus. “Our industry players have done well, but South African companies should not become complacent if one takes into account the large gap between the scores of the USA and South Africa. Consumers keep raising expectations of brands and we need to keep a constant watch on their ratings for resolving complaints”.

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