There’s no denying that dine-in traffic is a growing concern for a lot of brands; consumers—especially millennials—want to sit on their couch, binge-watching TV while eating food that’s been delivered from a restaurant.
Turns out, though, off-premise dining has a long way to go to match the consumer satisfaction of the dine-in experience. In fact, consumers at just about every major chain experience greater happiness when dining in an establishment, as opposed to eating the food at home, according to just-released data from Restaurant Business’ sister company Technomic.
With so much operator attention focused on increasing off-premise revenue, it’s clear there’s much opportunity to boost consumer satisfaction with food that’s eaten at home.
Here’s a look at the five chains with the greatest disparity in consumer satisfaction scores between dine-in and at-home occasions, according to Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics data.
5. Taco Bell
Difference in satisfaction: 13.9
Consumers who ate their food inside Taco Bell reported 48.8% overall satisfaction, compared to 34.9% satisfaction for diners who ate their food at home, a split of 13.9 percentage points. Dine-in consumers at the quick-service brand rated their satisfaction with the food 8.5 percentage points higher than consumers who dined at home.
4. Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen
Difference in satisfaction: 14.3
Those who ate food at home from Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen reported overall satisfaction 14.3 points lower than those who dined in: 38.3% satisfaction versus 52.6% satisfaction, respectively. Dine-in consumers at the quick-service seafood chain also reported brand loyalty 6 percentage points higher than those who ate their food at home.
3. Taco John’s
Difference in satisfaction: 15.5
Quick-service chain Taco John’s saw a 15.5-point spread between satisfaction with dine-in experiences versus food eaten at home, from 49.3% satisfaction for dine-in compared to 33.8% satisfaction for at-home. Dine-in customers rated the food quality 9.9 points higher than at-home diners.
Difference in satisfaction: 15.8
Domino’s may be thought of as a predominantly delivery-focused chain, but consumers say they have a better experience when they eat their pizza in the store. There’s a 15.8 percentage point difference between consumer satisfaction with a dine-in occasion (61.1% satisfaction) at Domino’s versus one at home (45.3%). Consumers rated the dine-in food quality 13.1 points higher than the off-premise quality. And they rated value of the food eaten at home 6.7 points lower than the food consumed in the restaurant.
1. Waffle House
Difference in satisfaction: 19.5
No chain had a greater disparity between dine-in and at-home consumer satisfaction than Waffle House. Diners at the midscale chain gave it an overall satisfaction rating of 41.7% for dine-in, but just 22.2% satisfaction for food eaten at home—a difference of 19.5 percentage points. Further, dine-in consumers at Waffle House rated their satisfaction with the food 10.1 points higher than those who ate at home, and customers who dined in rated the value 7.3 points higher than those who ate at home.