The recession has created increasingly discerning hospitality customers who demand both value and quality and will tolerate no compromise in either, according to newly-published research by the National Skills Academy for Hospitality.
It found that warmth or customer service (26%) and value for money (31%) were the top reasons for diners to recommend a restaurant
"The 2009 recession-borne staycation has provided a valuable opportunity for hotels, restaurants and pubs to demonstrate they can deliver excellent customer service. But there can be no resting on laurels, especially as disposable income in 2010 may well need to be re-named ‘discerningly spent income,'" said David McHattie, chief executive of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality.
"Businesses that will prosper in 2010 will be those which excel in customer service and deliver perceived value, exceeding the expectations of even the most discerning guests."
Some did even better, with Blostins restaurant in Shepton Mallet achieving the top rating of 100%.
Having completed its two-year research programme, the academy is now offering hospitality firms the opportunity to take part in its quarterly Mystery Visitor programme to find out how they compare with their rivals. Details of the Service Benchmarking Programme can be found on the academy's website here.
The academy also plans to hold more World Class Customer Service courses following the success of the 38 it held in the last quarter of 2009.
"Working together, we believe the sector really can lead the world in customer service in the run-up to 2012," commented McHattie.
Hospitality needs to improve skills in time for Olympics >> By Angela Frewin
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