Prêt à Manger Tops Consumer Polls as the UK’s Healthiest, Fastest and Quality Food Outlet

Composite Loyalty IndexMarket Force Intelligence Report Reveals Strong Competition for Consumer Loyalty amongst Nandos, Frankie and Benny’s, Bella Italia and Pizza Express. 

London, U.K., March 18th, 2015 – A national survey by Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions, has found that on average consumers frequent a fast-service restaurant at least twice a month. But with an average of one in five customers dissatisfied with their recent restaurant visit, the top brand food chains are in a tug of war when it comes to winning customer loyalty and satisfaction.

For the rankings, Market Force polled more than 4,500 consumers in January 2015 who were asked to rate their satisfaction with their last experience at a given restaurant and their likelihood to recommend it to others. The data was averaged to rate each restaurant brand on a Composite Loyalty Index. Market Force also looked at the attributes that drive these preferences, analysing factors such as service, food quality and value, as well as the latest industry trends involving social media and mobile technology.

Prêt à Manger are Ready to Win!

The Composite Loyalty Index clearly marks hot competition between six brands in the sandwich, chicken, Italian and pizza categories. Bella Italia, Nando’s, Pizza Express, Pret A Manger, and Frankie and Benny’s are nearly tied in ability to deliver high satisfying experiences that result in high recommendation ratings.

Brands can begin to competitively differentiate by focusing on critical drivers of satisfaction. 17 per cent of consumers indicated that their last experience in a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR)/Fast Casual restaurant was disappointing. When asked to rate satisfaction with the critical drivers, consumers had relatively high ratings for service, food quality and speed of service, but had opportunities to improve on value and availability of healthy food options; this provides opportunity to steal wallet share. When restaurants execute on at least five of the critical drivers, 91 per cent of consumers will recommend the brand, compared to a 25 per cent recommendation rating when restaurants execute on only one of the critical drivers.

Not all Brands Deliver Equally

Consumers rated how well each brand delivered on the critical drivers. Prêt à Manger led on three of the eight drivers, including speed of service, food quality, and healthy food options. Bella Italia led on friendly service and Frankie and Benny’s on providing a great atmosphere. The mix of leaders across the various critical drivers reflects the tough competition in the space and why so many brands are tied on the composite loyalty index.

Consumer Technology Key to Growth

Many restaurants have invested in guest-facing technology to place orders, whether by using a mobile, a kiosk in the store, or tabletop tablets. One in three consumers had used one of these technologies to place an order within the past 90 days. Of those, about one in four actually preferred to place their order using technology rather than place their order with a cashier or server.

Consumers also indicated whether they used the mobile apps provided by restaurants. Awareness that a restaurant offers a mobile app is surprisingly low, with Domino’s having the highest awareness at 56 per cent and Frankie & Benny’s the lowest at 6 per cent. Despite the awareness chart, consumers also indicated whether they had downloaded the app and even though Frankie & Benny’s had the lowest awareness rating, a high proportion of those who actually were aware of the app downloaded and used it (90 per cent) compared to only 19 per cent for Pizza Hut.

‘Restaurant brands have the opportunity to steal “share of stomach” by creating exceptional experiences. Our research highlights the extreme competition among restaurant brands and the importance of excelling on the key drivers of satisfaction. In addition, restaurants have the opportunity to be “stickier” with consumers by creating convenient, hassle-free experiences via mobile apps. Many brands have created apps, but consumers aren’t aware they exist,” concludes Cheryl Flink, Chief Strategy Officer, Market Force.

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