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Christmas Feedback Data Highlights Importance of Building Loyalty Throughout the Year to Win Vital Celebration Business

December 2021 saw overall NPS in hospitality dip from November (54) to 52 (based on 131,373 guest survey responses) – a similar level seen at other busy periods since hospitality reopened fully in May.  As guests have returned to dining out we have seen staff and skills shortages hurting hospitality operators whenever they have become busier (school holidays, October half term and now Christmas have all seen NPS declines). 

Seemingly, many guests are not aware of the challenges facing operators as speed of service continues to grow as the top complaint topic.  In December Speed of Service accounted for 21% of complaints tracked by Feed It Back.  

Guests were asked their main reason for choosing a venue for their Christmas celebration and ‘enjoyed previous visit’ remained the top reason, accounting for 22% of responses.  This shows the importance of maintaining a high standard throughout the year, to ensure your brand is front of mind when guests consider where to go for Christmas, and indeed other celebrations such as Valentine’s day, Mother’s day or birthdays. 

When asked what menu guests prefer to choose from when eating out in December, the majority of guests opted for ‘main menu with festive specials’ (49.6%). ‘Main menu’ was the second preference (35.8%) and Festive Set Menu (14.6%). Operators who can strike a balance between continuing to give guests what they love about their brand all year round but still being able to add festive flavours during this season, will be most successful in 2022.  It’s also worth noting that the Casual Dining and Pub Dining segments saw a greater number of guests interested in Festive Set Menus, with 19% for Casual Dining, and 23% for Pub Dining, compared to the 15% at industry level.

Finally, when asked what guests consider important for 2022, good food (30%) and good service (26%) came out as the top factors, showing that getting the basic food and service right is vital to building that important loyalty in 2022.  With value for money a key challenge across the industry in 2021 we expect 2022 to see even more focus on value from guests, as disposable income is likely to be squeezed.The best operators will be the ones that build on these cornerstones to enjoy plenty of loyal, satisfied guests in 2022.

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