Study Hall Research has conducted two nationwide studies about restaurant dining perceptions at full service restaurants for Full Service Restaurant magazine (FSR). These studies mark the first results in an ongoing collaborative partnership between the publication and Study Hall.
The first study, dealing with perceptions of outdoor dining, was published in the periodical’s March issue. The second study, which addresses diners’ opinions about healthy food options, will be released to the public at the National Restaurant Association’s tradeshow in May. Among the lengthy list of key findings from the outdoor dining study were the following:
Outdoor Dining Behaviors and Drivers
- 18.7% of all diners surveyed say they eat outdoors at least once per month at an Upscale Dining restaurant.
- Full service restaurant diners are more likely to dine outside at Upscale or Casual Dining restaurants than Family restaurants.
- There is actually rather little difference in outdoor dining by day. Full Service restaurant diners are likely to agree that they eat outdoors at the same frequency on weekdays as compared to weekends.
Outdoor Diners’ Perceptions of Food and Service Quality
The survey shows that perceptions of food quality are actually quite similar when dining indoors or out (a stark contrast to an often-held perception that dining outdoors may mean a drop in food quality).
- 90% of these very diners agree the food is just as fresh whether they are dining indoors or outdoors.
- 77% of full service restaurant diners are likely to agree that the temperature of their food comes out the same whether they eat indoor or outdoor.
Wait Times for Indoor vs. Outdoor Dining
There are, however, significant differences in how long guests will wait for outdoor seating.
- Nearly half (46.7%) of diners surveyed are willing to wait 20+ minutes for indoor seating.
- However, only 16.8% of the same diners are willing to wait the same 20+ minutes for outdoor seating.
- In addition, while only 1.4% of diners have a ‘short wait time’ tolerance of 5 minutes or less for indoor seating, 16.1% of diners will wait only 5 minutes or less for outdoor seating.
- Women are more likely than men to wait 20 minutes or longer for a table, either indoors or out.
The full article can be found on Full Service Restaurant’s website at www.fsrmagazine.com/restaurant-experience/inside-look-outdoor-dining. Readers of FSR magazine include the major stakeholders and decision makers in a restaurant enterprise—owners, operators, chefs, senior and c-level executives, beverage managers, and mixologists. With its debut in November, 2012, FSR magazine is the natural evolution from the Restaurant Management (RMGT) website that launched in 2011 and has now rebranded to www.FSRmagazine.com.
Study Hall Research is a full-service, independent brand and communications research consultancy. Headquartered in Florida and registered as a Florida-based company, Study Hall provides both qualitative and quantitative research services to clients across a broad range of B2C and B2B categories for local, regional, and Fortune 500/1000 companies.
To learn more about the outdoor dining study, or to inquire about Study Hall’s custom quantitative research expertise, contact us at 813.849.4255 x203 or email us via our website at www.StudyHallResearch.com/contact.