Study: Consumers Happier with Hotels and Restaurants This Year

By Ben Rossi on 11 July 2011
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While consumer satisfaction with airlines keeps dropping, this month’s numbers from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index tell a very different story for hotels and restaurants.

Overall guest satisfaction with hotels rose 2.7% this year, driven by lower prices and more perks that, according to the ACSI, have “enhanced customers’ views of value for money.” Upscale brands dominated the top of the list as usual, but the aggregate of smaller brands, including bed and breakfasts, individual luxury hotels, and small motel chains, made the most progress with an up-tick of 4%. However, the picture is generally mixed for the hospitality industry, with two chains, Starwood and Wyndham, improving, three, Hilton, Best Western, and Choice, declining, and three, Marriott, Hyatt, and InterContinental, unchanged.

In contrast to the consumer figures, business traveler satisfaction with hotels also fell by 1% to 75.

The ACSI results also indicate that consumers enjoyed dining out at both full service restaurants and fast food chains more than the previous year. Diners reported an impressive 5.3% increase in satisfaction for fast food chains, which garnered an all-time high score of 79. According to the ACSI, this is largely due to consumers weighing price point more heavily in a weak economy, which benefits fast food vendors. Full service restaurants need to lead consumer satisfaction by a significant margin in order to justify higher prices, and the shrinking margin between the two restaurants types (82 for full service restaurants, 79 for fast food chains) should ring warning bells for more upscale dining establishments.

Another surprise from this month’s ACSI numbers is the ousting of FedEx from the top consumer satisfaction spot among express delivery services. After leading the list for a decade, UPS inched into first place with a score of 85, while FedEx fell to second with a still respectable 83. Even the U.S. Postal Service improved its public image this year, although this may be due to a shrinking customer base.

You can see the ACSI’s report here.

Accura News