Quality, service, convenience and value are the cornerstones of a positive restaurant dining experience, but a recent white paper incorporating first-quarter data from Technomic’s Canadian Consumer Brand Metrics (CBM) program reveals that ambiance plays a critical role as well.
The white paper, titled “Setting the Stage: Consumer Assessments of Décor, Music and Atmosphere at Leading Canadian Restaurant Chains,” finds that although ambiance can be easily overlooked because of its intangible nature, it can also be an important factor in a consumer’s decision to visit a restaurant. Ambiance is associated with higher consumer experience ratings and overall satisfaction.
“It’s essential for operators, particularly in the full-service segment, to consider how atmosphere can play a role in the way consumers rate their overall dining experience,” says Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President at Technomic. “Tracking consumer perceptions of restaurant ambiance over time, operators can obtain a clear vision of how consumers experience a brand when dining in and how it measures against their experiences at leading competitors.”
Highlights from the white paper include:
- Restaurant ambiance drives traffic across segments: A strong majority (86 per cent) of casual-dining restaurant patrons say that an appealing ambiance influences their decision to visit a particular concept. For quick-service restaurants, 82 per cent of customers say it is important that the units they visit have a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.
- Ambiance ratings correlate to overall satisfaction: Ninety-eight percent of consumers who rated a restaurant’s atmosphere and ambiance as very good also rated their overall visit favourably (excellent or good). In comparison, less than half of those who rated the overall ambiance as very bad (47 per cent) gave their visit a favorable rating.
- Chains’ ambiance scores vary by region: The following chains represent the leading brands in each region based on a rollup of four ambiance attributes (1. Overall atmosphere and ambiance; 2. A welcoming, comfortable atmosphere; 3. Music selection; 4. Décor):
- British Columbia: Milestones Grill & Bar
- The Prairies: Moxie’s Grill & Bar
- Ontario: Moxie’s Grill & Bar
- Quebec: The Keg Steakhouse & Bar
- Atlantic Canada: Pizza Delight
These findings were derived from Technomic’s Canadian Consumer Brand Metrics (CBM) program, which offers consumer insights based on ongoing data collection and insights on over 40 leading Canadian restaurant chains. The tool tracks consumers’ perceptions on 62 attributes relating to the restaurant foodservice experience, which include brand image, brand fit and customer loyalty. Chains can analyze their results by region, demographic group or restaurant visit behaviour.