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Diners will shun restaurants with less than three stars, survey reveals

23rd Mar 2020 - 05:00
McCain Foodservice Solutions has released a survey of 1,000 Brits to unveil what makes diners happy when eating out and what main factors contribute to high reviews online.

It has been revealed 85% of UK diners would shun a pub, bar or restaurant that had scored less than three stars on online review platforms, according to foodservice experts, McCain. 

The survey said only 20% of customers regularly leave an online review but figures clearly point out these reviews are important for business. 

Jo Eastwood, marketing controller at McCain Foodservice Solutions, said: “In an ever-changing and fast paced sector, we set out on this project with The Happiness Index to uncover the truths behind what makes diners happy and consequently what spurs them to leave positive online reviews.   

“We continually strive to help operators provide a better experience for their customers and we hope the findings support them in driving positive online reviews that deliver real business success.” 

Factors that contribute to good reviews

The main factors considered by reviewers are predominantly the quality of food (33%), quality of the service (27%) and the menu range. 

It is important for businesses to ‘walk a fine line’ between a range of choice and simplicity as 47% of respondents paralyse when it comes to deciding what to get.

To combat this issue of ‘decision paralysis’, companies could train their staff in recognising the issue and helping the customer by recommending signature dishes and popular choices. Resulting in relieving a stressful moment and an opportunity for operators to promote profitable dishes.

The costs of eating out

When it comes to the cost of eating out 76% of customers have this factor at the forefront of their minds. The survey reveals a cheaper meal isn’t necessarily equivalent to a good review. Sixty-five percent would pay more if reassured by the establishment’s online reputation. 

The power of the nations favourite side dish 

The nations love of chips is strong, so much so that three out of ten people would leave an establishment if it ran out of chips.

Rated on its taste, crispiness and fluffiness, 40% of customers would leave a bad review for a bad chip experience.

How social media pushes businesses’ forward 

In these modern times of instagram, the photo infused social media platform, means 22% of respondents consider a restaurants décor as a deciding factor in leaving a good review, as it would make a great ‘instagrammable’ photo. 

Ninety percent of survey respondents’ check reviews online and social media to help them choose the right restaurant. The most popular review sites checked by customers are TripAdvisor (78%), Google Reviews (59%) and 26% of over 45-year-olds using Facebook. 


Written by
Carmella Haswell