The Restaurants and Fast Food sector surpassed all the others, although it has no representation in the top 10 in the overall rankings. However, it maintains a consistently high customer experience (7 out of 8 brands are in the top 50; the lowest-ranking of them occupied 61st place). It beat the other sectors, especially in empathy. In this pillar, the Restaurants and Fast Food sector improved on last year, as it did in the expectations pillar.
The sector stalwart – Starbucks – occupied first place. Since 2019, the brand has moved up 24 places in the overall rankings and is now 12th overall. The ingredients of Starbucks’ success appear to be easily replicable, such as pleasant staff, good coffee and an attractive environment. But the “something extra” factor, thanks to which the brand regularly scores well among customers, also comes down to something else: the little things, attention to detail and prioritizing customer needs in every situation:
“I ordered Starbucks coffee on my way to work. The coffee was excellent, and a message at the bottom of the cup, wishing me a beautiful day, lifted my spirits no end. :)))” (Woman, 24)
“I bought capsules for the coffee machine. The staff were a real surprise – they were quite happy to let me try out all the capsules on offer.” (Man, 42)
Number two in the sector and a big climber (up 51 places in the overall rankings) is DámeJídlo.cz. Customers react very positively to how this establishment responded to the coronavirus crisis and appreciated that the company managed punctual deliveries despite sharply increased demand. If it did not dispatch the food on time, Dáme Jídlo provided compensation through a system of credits, which customers gratefully acknowledged: “We use their services in our house quite regularly, and dealing with them is easy. If complications crop up, Dáme jídlo makes up for everything, such as by giving you credits.” (Man, 36)
McDonald’s made the biggest leap of all. Even in 2019, it did not make the Top 100 brands, but this year the firm climbed a superb 79 places, up to 27th position overall and fourth place among restaurants. Customers welcomed the availability of meals through the standard drive-in window as well as the speedy launch of McDonald’s McWalk, which serves food through a hatch to pedestrians. “It’s one of my favourite fast-food outlets. You can pay for takeaways with meal vouchers. I like that I always know what to expect. During this period, the restaurant has been operating the McWalk service.” (Woman, 30)
“We order meals quite often via the Dáme jídlo app. They’re reliable every time and almost always deliver food when they say they will. I hugely appreciate the Dáme jídlo couriers. In these coronavirus times, they’re enthusiastic about their work and always deliver (what we’re sometimes lazy to cook) with a smile.” (Woman, 25)
“Ugo suits me a lot because you can eat well and healthily here for a reasonable price. Right now, in this state of emergency, they’ve introduced a delivery service. Unfortunately, they don’t come to my place, but I live in a small town just outside Prague, so that’s understandable. Otherwise, the staff are always nice and accommodating, and they always have a smile for you. I like coming to this place.” (Woman, 19)
Costa Coffee: “This company has absolutely amazing people at all the branches. Every time I buy coffee, the staff are charming. They’re more than willing to help me to choose something.” (Man, 25)
In this sector, the coronavirus crisis has radically altered distribution models. Businesses already serving through windows enjoyed an advantage in this respect. Delivery services took advantage of this opportunity (such as DámeJídlo.cz, which jumped significantly in the study), helping many restaurants to function. Concerning the negative experiences, apart from the complete closure of some restaurants, customers most often cited queues at the serving hatches, confusion when ordering and picking up food, and unease when staff failed to observe hygiene rules properly.