The Restaurants and Fast Food sector saw a slight drop in performance in 2021 but as a whole, the sector still has best overall rating, taking the lead in most pillars as well (with the exception of price-performance and customer loyalty metrics) and staying at the top of the leader board. The sector’s leaders are cafés, with first and third places going to them.
Service quality is absolutely key for restaurant clients who judge the staff’s friendliness, their ability to fulfil individual requests, and solve problems in ways that will leave their customers happy.
Starbucks was the sector’s winner in 2020, and they managed to retain the title in 2021 as well, opening two new shops despite the pandemic. In 2019 the brand launched Starbucks Delivers, their own delivery service that was made popular by the pandemic, with many customers having Starbucks products delivered to their homes or offices. In 2021, in accordance with their green company policy, Starbucks introduced fees for single-use cups while at the same time rewarding those who bring their own cup with a discount of up to CZK 10 per drink. Between 2017 and 2019, the number of customers bringing their own cups grew by 100%.
Our respondents commend Starbucks for speedy preparation of drinks, a professional approach and the staff’s attitude towards customers. Although they admit the brand is a bit more expensive, most customers believe that the high price also means high quality.
The survey’s newbie, Fruitisimo, made quite an entrance, taking the second spot in the industry right off the bat. The company managed to successfully come back after a dip in 2020 caused by the pandemic and has now started a new wave of expansion, with plans to open 13 new stores in the coming months, including the first of the four stores in Germany coming in September, and three new stores in Budapest.
The pandemic forced the company to shift their attention to packaged goods and sell them in supermarkets, a move that also helped the brand make customers more aware of their products. The company also runs its own online store, delivering orders across the whole country. So far, online sales make up for a very small portion of their total revenue, but that is changing quickly.
What the company’s customers appreciate most are fresh products and friendly staff.
The third place was taken by Costa Coffee, a company that was recently purchased by Coca-Cola HBC and has now entered the retail sector as well, with plans to grab the attention of small and medium office centres in the future.
Customers visiting their shops can now use a new “Skip the line” feature that allows them to place an order, choose pick up time, and pay online – a great time-saver when you are in a rush to catch a train and don’t have even a second to spare.
In our survey, people commended Costa Coffee for their friendly staff and quick, forthcoming service.
UGO, a brand with close to 80 fresh bars and salad bars on the Czech and Slovak markets, managed to improve its scores in 2021. In the fall of 2020, the brand introduced a new feature to attract corporate customers: their own catering service offering UGO box delivery directly to offices. The service is available in all locations with an UGO branch nearby.
The brand has always been conscious of the environment, too, making a point of using fresh produce, working with local farmers, and reducing waste and packaging whenever possible. UGO also joined forces with the “Biopekárna Zemanka” bakery to create cookies made of leftover fruits and vegetables that they use to make their juices.
Customer comments in the survey clearly illustrate their perception of the brand – mostly, UGO is associated with quick and healthy meal options, with the option to customize the items on their menu winning some extra points for the brand as well.
Delivery is the way to go
The pandemic has forever solidified the importance of a good delivery service, regardless of whether the company has its own delivery department or uses a third-party partner.
Self-service kiosks for the win
Lately, fast food chains have turned their attention to self-service kiosks to allow customers place their orders more conveniently – a step that was met with approval on the customers’ side.
Starbucks: “One time they forgot about my coffee and I had to wait for about thirty minutes, but the staff apologized, I got my coffee, and even a voucher for a free coffee as a bonus!” (Woman, 19)
“KFC’s delivery is great and really fast. They called us immediately when they realized that an item from our order was out of stock and offered a different product at a discounted price as a replacement.” (Woman, 28)
McDonald’s: “This is definitely my favourite fast food chain; their speed and quality are unparalleled. And their coupons are simply awesome! We eat there quite often, at least once a week for sure.” (Woman, 20)
Starbucks: “They have a great selection of products and services. The prices usually match the quality of the goods. I also like their decision to aspire for a more eco-friendly approach.” (Woman, 20)
Fruitisimo: “I have a favourite drink there, “Kakao bob”. I also like their loyalty program. One time I used their app to order my drink, but I couldn’t make it to their store on time, so I called them to apologize for not picking up my drink. The lady at the store was very nice and understanding and “saved” my drink for me. That is, she wrote down my name and when I was in the store a week later, they made my drink for me at no extra charge, which was a very positive experience (Anděl store).” (Man, 21)
“I regularly visit Costa Coffee to get a cup of coffee on my way to work. One time I decided to enter their club to receive a club card – the staff were very helpful and gladly assisted in the process.” (Man, 21)
“I like UGO because they always have fresh juices in their menu, unlike their competition whose juices are more like smoothies. They will always make a me custom juice like it’s no problem at all. My lifestyle is rather hectic, so I often eat at UGO salad bars as well, and I’m very happy with those, too.” (Woman, 21)
DámeJídlo.cz: “A great app for when you want to have food delivered to you and don’t know all the nearby restaurants with a delivery option.” (Woman, 54)
Ovocný Světozor: “Cakes as usual, but now you can buy them online.” (Man, 26)
“I get my breakfast at McDonald’s. The staff are always nice, although I don’t get to engage with them too much because I place my orders and pay for them in of the self-service kiosks. I like how fast and convenient they are.” (Man, 40)