Ocean Basket scores highest in SAcsi Satisfaction Index

The South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for restaurants has been released with Ocean Basket coming out on top. Overall the index revealed that South African consumers are highly satisfied with their sit down restaurant experience.

The restaurants are scored out of 100. There was an industry average of 77.6, with Ocean Basket scoring the highest with 78.6, followed by Wimpy with 77.8. Spur and Mugg & Bean scored 77.0 and 75.7 respectively.

The index was compiled by Consulta, through surveying just under 1500 randomly selected customers at Mugg & Bean, Ocean Basket, Spur, Wimpy and a host of other local restaurant brands. “The research is conducted independently, without sponsorship from any of the brands, offering impartial insights into the full-service, sit down franchise restaurant industry in South Africa,” highlighted SAcsi.

The index

The restaurant index benchmarks and blends various indices, including customer expectations, service quality, product quality, perceived value and perceived quality. “The SAcsi provides a weighted average of the various aspects of a customer’s experience with a brand, the degree to which the product or service has met, fallen short of, or exceeded their expectations, and how well it compares to the respondents’ ideal of what they anticipate their experience to be,” explained SAcsi.

According to Prof Adré Schreuder, CEO of Consulta, South African restaurant goers have high expectations from the franchise restaurants they support. Among the demands that patrons have are: value for money, quality food, quick service and a great overall experience. “If a restaurant can provide all of these, they will score well on the SAcsi.”

Customer expectations

According to the index, Ocean Basket customers have the highest customer expectation, scoring 80.4 in a measure of customer anticipation of the quality of a company’s products or services. The industry average was 80.0, with Spur, Mugg & Bean and Wimpy scoring between 80.3 and 79.7.

“Restaurants have ever-higher standards to live up to, as consumers have become far more knowledgeable about food through shows like MasterChef, popular cooking and food blogs, social media, and South Africa’s own personality chefs and their globally recognised restaurants,” noted Schreuder.

“Ocean Basket has tapped into these popular trends, offering new menu items such as tapas-style food, more grilled options, and salad and vegetable sides, while its new Mediterranean sushi menu offers broad family appeal. Ocean Basket’s consistency over the last three years has yielded great results for the brand in 2016,” he added.

Perceived quality of service and products

“Customers inevitably compare the service and product that they experience with what they have come to expect from previous experiences at a restaurant, along with what the brand has promised in its communications,” said Schreuder.

Ocean Basket was ahead of the pack in this category scoring 82.8, followed by Spur with 82.3, Wimpy with 81.9 and Mugg & Bean with 79.8. The industry average for perceived quality of service was 80.0.

“It’s worth noting that while there is a range of scores across all four brands, they are all still relatively close to the industry standard of 80.0, demonstrating that their service quality is on par with what South Africans expect,” revealed Schreuder.

In addition to the perceived quality of service, patrons were also asked to rate the perceived quality of products. This index measures a customer’s satisfaction with their experience at a restaurant, and is measured in terms of customisation and reliability.

Both Ocean Basket and Wimpy scored 82.7, above the industry average of 82.5. They were followed by Spur, with Mugg & Bean trailing behind.

Perceived value

Customers also surveyed the perceived value they got from the restaurant. Schreuder highlighted that perceived value directly influences a customer’s satisfaction and whether or not they will return to the brand in the future.

From the brands surveyed, Ocean Basket is perceived to offer the greatest value, with a score of 79.4, above the industry average of 77.6. Wimpy scored on par with the industry average, while both Mugg & Bean and Spur scored below.

SAcsi highlighted that while perceived value is important for an initial purchase, it usually diminishes with repeat purchases.

An interesting trend the was revealed by the index is that South African restaurant patrons are increasingly choosing outlets that serve meals made from locally sourced ingredients. Furthermore, people want to know the nutritional information about their food before ordering.

“Customers are increasingly expecting menu options that meet the demands of their personalised Banting, vegan or other specialised eating regimes. ‘Grazing’ a selection of smaller portions is also an increasingly popular choice that gives patrons the opportunity to enjoy more than one dish per visit,” added Schreuder.

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