And just over half think the experience was less sociable than before lockdown.
Recent customer sentiment research from KAM Media and Feed It Back has revealed that the top reason people gave for not returning to restaurants last week was social distancing.*
Can we dig a bit deeper into this?
Over a quarter of restaurant goers think the sound of people improves atmosphere (30.4% across July and August), yet a similar amount think that the reverse is true (26.5% across July and August). See graph 1.
Furthermore, over half of restaurant goers (53.2%) feel that the dining experience is less sociable than before lockdown (see graph 2).
What other trends are emerging?
It seems like people are starting to miss the buzz of a crowd in restaurants, as the differential between those who agree/disagree that the sound of people makes the atmosphere better has increased by 6.3% from July to August (July: 28.6% agree/27.9% disagree. August: 32.1% agree/25.1% disagree).
Thoughts from our CEO, Adam Castleton:
“In contrast to our research into the retail and pub sector, our findings for restaurants seem to have unearthed many differing customer opinions. This illustrates the perfect balance that restaurateurs have to strike for the optimum atmosphere. This isn’t always easy for busy operators, but there are things we can do to make this more achievable, such as monitoring footfall throughout service and adjusting the music volume to the perfect levels automatically.”
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Surveys carried out July and August 2020. Sample sizes (n) >1000 people, UK Nat. Rep. with 95% confidence level & margin of error of +/- 5%.
*KAM Media – The Customer Sentiment Tracker. 10th August 2020.