Diners believe they get better value for money by paying the standard price for a meal compared to using a voucher.
According to the latest Taste of the Nation survey 26% of consumers rated value for money as excellent when they had paid full price, compared to 19% when using a voucher.
The survey of 3,000 adults by Deloitte and BDRC Continental found the same pattern across all factors considered important by diners, with most reporting a better experience paying full price.
Quality of food was ranked as the number one priority when eating out, with 30% saying food was excellent when they paid full price, compared to 22% when using a voucher.
Some 32% said customer service was excellent when paying standard price, though only 22% felt they were well looked after when using a voucher.
Jon Lake, corporate finance director at Deloitte, said the survey found that vouchers were failing to deliver if consumer expectations when using them were worse.
He added: "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."
When Deloitte conducted a similar survey a year ago it found that 59% of consumers had used a voucher when eating out.
"At the time we questioned the over reliance of some outlets on vouchers," Lake said. "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."
By James Stagg
E-mail your comments to James Stagg here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs