More chains are doing increased takeout business, meeting the consumer demand for convenience. But some are doing a better job than others, especially in the casual-dining realm.
Technomic asked consumers to rate their overall satisfaction of some of the top casual-dining chains—then Restaurant Business compared those overall scores with the satisfaction scores given for meals eaten outside of the restaurant, aka carryout.
Looking at data from the most recent four quarters, consumers rate their dine-in experiences 6% higher overall than they do takeout from these full-service restaurants. (Scores are based on the percentage of those who rated their overall satisfaction with the chain as “very good.”)
Which chains have the biggest difference in scores showing that consumers aren’t rating their takeout services as high? Here’s a look.Source: Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics program
1. P.F. Chang's China Bistro
Overall satisfaction score: 56.3%
Satisfaction outside the restaurant: 34.6%
The Asian chain scored nearly 22% higher when it came to overall satisfaction, compared to takeout scores. Knowing that its customers sway toward its dine-in service is a part of the reason its parent company launched and has been growing fast-casual sister concept Pei Wei—to better capture the off-premise market.
2. Chili's Grill & Bar
Overall satisfaction score: 48.7%
Satisfaction outside the restaurant: 28.9%
The tabletop tablets could be a draw for dine-in customers. They provide amusement for families with kids, as well as at-the-table payment options, aimed at making dine-in more convenient.
Overall satisfaction score: 42.9%
Satisfaction outside the restaurant: 23.8%
When asked about the overall ratings they gave the chain, consumers constantly remarked about fast service and a nice experience, even adding “the staff was great” and “it has very good employees,” contributing to dine-in convenience and ambiance.
Carrabba's Italian Grill
Overall satisfaction score: 60.9%
Satisfaction outside the restaurant: 45.8%
Many respondents commented on a great dine-in experience, with fresh food and “exceptional” and “prompt” service. Conversely, a few consumers mentioned high prices compared to some competitors, suggesting that it is the atmosphere and attentive service adding to the value of the brand.
Maggiano's Little Italy
Overall satisfaction score: 64%
Satisfaction outside the restaurant: 50%
Maggiano’s wins with consumers for its service and hospitality, scoring a 67.3% in this category—something that it can’t easily show over the course of the meal with carryout food.
Overall satisfaction score: 61.7%
Satisfaction outside the restaurant: 47.7%
The Darden chain—one of consumers’ favorite chains overall—scored a 69.4% for its service and hospitality and a 62.4% for its appearance and ambiance, so it goes to reason that consumers see the upscale-casual spot as a place for dining in.
Overall satisfaction score: 50.7%
Satisfaction outside the restaurant: 37%
The original breastaurant, Hooters was built on the idea of providing friendly, welcoming service, along with cold beer and lots of TVs in one setting. Those elements can’t be recognized in takeout.