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Consumers say paying standard price for a meal is better value than dining with a voucher

Consumers say paying standard price for a meal is better value than dining with a voucher

Consumers say they get better value for money by paying the standard price for a meal than when dining out with a voucher, according to the findings of the latest Taste of the Nation survey of 3000 adults by business advisory firm Deloitte and research consultancy BDRC Continental. 26% of consumers rated the value for money of their meal as excellent when they had paid full price, compared with just 19% when using a voucher.

The survey found a similar pattern across all of the factors considered important to consumers about their dining experience. 32% said customer service was excellent when paying standard price, compared with 22% when using vouchers. Similarly, 30% rated the quality of food as top notch, versus just 22% of those using a voucher. Quality of food is ranked the number one priority for consumers when eating out. Additionally, 22% rated the range of food as excellent when paying full price, compared with 17% when using a voucher.

Jon Lake, a corporate finance director in the licensed retail group at Deloitte, commented: “Although you would expect a stronger range when paying full price, consumers expect the quality of food to be the same whether they use a voucher or not. When they do use a voucher, consumers expect it to represent better value for money, a not unreasonable expectation.

“Our survey highlights a significant disconnect between consumer expectation and their actual experience. It suggests vouchers are failing to deliver if consumers’ experiences when they are using them are perceived as worse value for money than non-voucher occasions.”

Customers are much more likely to recommend a venue after a standard price dining occasion than one where a voucher is used (34% vs 22%). This further reinforces the view that vouchers are not always delivering on consumers’ expectations.

Lake continued: “When we conducted a similar survey a year ago, we found the majority (59%) of consumers have used a special offer voucher when eating out. At the time, we questioned the over reliance of some outlets on vouchers. With vouchers an established feature of the eating out market, operators need to make sure that voucher occasions are competitive on more than just price if they are hoping to use them to attract more loyal customers. A voucher can be a powerful tool when product and service levels remain high.”

Taste of the Nation, produced by Deloitte, together with BDRC Continental, explores the trends and patterns of consumers’ eating and drinking habits out of the home. It takes into consideration every time they purchase drink or food from a pub, bar, coffee/sandwich shop, fast food outlet, restaurant or club, whether it be a sit-in or takeaway occasion, shedding light on the size of the market and its opportunities.

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