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  • Are customers of your restaurant category concerned with healthy eating in the new year?

    SMG Insights | Jan 16, 2014
    Despite the perception that fast-casual customers are more interested in eating healthy than customers of other restaurant categories, SMG found 18% of frequent diners to fast-food, fast-casual, and casual-dining restaurants resolve to eat healthier in the new year. It appears to be a common desire for all customers – no matter where they usually eat. Of course the desire to eat healthier doesn’t always translate to changes in behavior, but restaurants can offer healthy menu options to help consumers stay true to their resolutions and keep frequent customers coming back.
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  • Do Christmas Eve diners have a cheery experience?

    SMG Insights | Dec 6, 2013
    Actually, compared to other Mondays in December, large parties have a deflated experience on Christmas Eve. Analysis of casual dining concepts in December 2012 revealed several important measures took a dip on the holiday for large parties. Atmosphere scores, which operators might expect to be elevated on this holiday, were nearly 10% points lower.
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  • What matters most to loyal customers?

    SMG Insights | Nov 21, 2013
    As you might remember from our research posted in January, we found 18% of frequent fast-food, fast-casual, and casual-dining customers planned to eat healthier in the new year. So how did this resolution actually play out? You may be surprised to learn diners with a healthy eating resolution increased restaurant visits in both the fast-food and fast-casual dining segments. Based on 30,000 visits detected to more than 200 restaurant brands in December and January, we found fast-food restaurants saw a 10% point increase in visits from these customers. Fast-casual restaurants saw an 8% point increase and casual-dining restaurants saw a 1% point decrease.
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  • What's the cause of disappointment when customers complain about LTOs?

    SMG Insights | Oct 7, 2013
    Through analysis of customer comments, we found 27% of negative comments from customers who order LTOs have to do with Speed, compared to 16% concerning Price, 11% about Taste, and 6% about Accuracy. These findings are actually good news for operators, because Speed is an attribute that is under their control. As your restaurants roll out promotions and seasonal specials, be sure you have a plan in place so speed doesn't suffer as a result. Even though customers are excited about trying new things, the basics still matter.
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  • Does employee engagement really matter?

    SMG Insights | Jul 23, 2013
    It definitely does. Highly Engaged employees will provide better service to your customers, and 95% of Highly Engaged employees will recommend your brand to others. In contrast, Disengaged employees have an NPS (Net Promoter Score) of -1. Failure to hire the right employees and nurture their engagement creates an army of detractors with the potential to drive away potential customers and profits.
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  • SMG in the news

    SMG Insights | Jul 15, 2013
    As you might remember from our research posted in January, we found 18% of frequent fast-food, fast-casual, and casual-dining customers planned to eat healthier in the new year. So how did this resolution actually play out? You may be surprised to learn diners with a healthy eating resolution increased restaurant visits in both the fast-food and fast-casual dining segments. Based on 30,000 visits detected to more than 200 restaurant brands in December and January, we found fast-food restaurants saw a 10% point increase in visits from these customers. Fast-casual restaurants saw an 8% point increase and casual-dining restaurants saw a 1% point decrease.
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  • Is it a good or bad thing when a customer names an employee?

    SMG Insights | Jun 10, 2013
    As you might remember from our research posted in January, we found 18% of frequent fast-food, fast-casual, and casual-dining customers planned to eat healthier in the new year. So how did this resolution actually play out? You may be surprised to learn diners with a healthy eating resolution increased restaurant visits in both the fast-food and fast-casual dining segments. Based on 30,000 visits detected to more than 200 restaurant brands in December and January, we found fast-food restaurants saw a 10% point increase in visits from these customers. Fast-casual restaurants saw an 8% point increase and casual-dining restaurants saw a 1% point decrease.
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  • Do loyalty club members behave any differently than other guests when it comes to meal-time mistakes?

    SMG Insights | May 14, 2013
    No matter what you do inside your restaurants, problems will occur. And sometimes, those problems will linger in the minds of customers and cause them to not come back. But here’s the good news: Guests who are loyalty club members are half as likely to defect after they experience a problem than guests who aren’t part of the loyalty club. While the obvious reason to have loyalty programs is to incentivize guests to return, loyalty clubs also have the hidden benefit of minimizing the negative impact when guests experience a problem.
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  • Can the carry-out experience compare with dining in?

    SMG Insights | Apr 15, 2013
    It can—when key metrics are executed well. Taste and temperature of food are important for carry-out guests, but guests who are highly satisfied with these measures still aren’t as satisfied overall as dine-in guests.
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  • Are your restaurants prepared for St. Patrick's Day revelers?

    SMG Insights | Mar 14, 2013
    SMG’s Benchmark Database shows Pace of Experience scores, along withLikelihood to Return scores, suffer on St. Patrick’s Day compared to other Saturdays in March. Overall Atmosphere scores are slightly up on the holiday, but customers indicate the fun, vibrant atmosphere doesn’t compensate for slower service.
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  • Do price-fixed menus work on Valentine's Day?

    SMG Insights | Feb 12, 2013
    When it comes to Speed of Service scores, it certainly seems so. Fine-dining restaurants experience a 9 percentage point boost on Speed of Service on Valentine’s Day compared to other Tuesdays in February. Through use of price-fixed menus, fine-dining restaurants are able to accommodate more guests in less time.
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  • Does your business have a flawless process for redeeming gift cards?

    SMG Insights | Jan 22, 2013
    SMG’s Benchmark Database reveals that problems are much more common for guests who use gift cards. In fact, gift card users are twice as likely to experience a problem than guests who don’t use gift cards.
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