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Over a third of diners find the experience less relaxing than pre-lockdown

Over a third of diners find the experience less relaxing than pre-lockdown

Written by

Abbie Dawson


August 26, 2020


Latest research

Yet over a quarter also think the opposite; eating out is more relaxing now.

Recent customer sentiment research from KAM Media and Feed It Back has revealed that the vast majority of hospitality customers are happy with safety procedures, giving them confidence to return (93-94%).*

What are people thinking of the restaurant experience as they return?

37% of diners think the experience is less relaxing than before, a trend that is consistent across July and August.

Yet encouragingly over a quarter (27.5%) also think it is more relaxing now, post-lockdown (see graph 1). 

The differential between those who find the experience less/more relaxing is significantly smaller for the restaurant industry, compared to retail (you can check out this coming Friday’s post for more on that).

Chart showing how relaxing people find restaurants since lockdown
Graph 1

Interestingly, nearly two thirds of those who feel the experience is more relaxing now are women (59.7% average across July and August). See Graph 2.

What other trends are emerging?

Two thirds (66.2%) of those who think the restaurant experience is less relaxing intend to go less frequently than before.

Yet conversely, a healthy majority of 57.3% of those who strongly feel it is more relaxing now will continue to go just as frequently as pre-lockdown.

Chart showing how relaxing people find restaurants since lockdown, split by gender
Graph 2

Thoughts from our CEO, Adam Castleton:

"The restaurant sector is clearly doing something right, with almost all customers stating that they're confident in the safety procedures established by the sector. It's also encouraging to see that most customers that find the restaurant experience relaxing plan on visiting just as frequently as they did before lockdown. However, with the opposite also true, there is an opportunity for restaurants to create an atmosphere that puts their customers at ease. You probably need to take time to chill out too, so here's our playlist to help you do just that!"

This hub is the place to be for consumer research in retail and hospitality, so make sure to bookmark it, follow us on social, write it on a post-it note or whatever it is that you do. You could also sign up and subscribe to our mailing list, which is easy like Sunday morning.

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, 17th August 2020.

Over a third of diners find the experience less relaxing than pre-lockdown

Abbie Dawson

Marketing Manager at Startle. I'm in charge of our marketing activity, making sure to spread the word of Startle to as many brands as possible. When I'm not working, you'll find me vinyl shopping to add to my collection or working out at the gym (usually making enemies with a punching bag).

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