The survey by HospitalityGEM show 87% of diners would not return to an outlet following an experience of slow service.
The poll of 775 diners revealed that 57% of diners want to wait less than five minutes to be seated, while two thirds want their order taken within 5-10 minutes.
When it comes to their experience as a whole, 72% of diners expect to only take an hour over lunch in a pub or restaurant during the week. Diners are prepared to spend more time in a pub or restaurant over a meal at the weekend , with 58% expecting to spend one and a half hours over lunch and 55% expecting to spend over two hours having dinner, compared to 62% who expect dinner in the week to last just one and a half hours.
Steven Pike, managing director of HospitalityGEM,said: “Our research clearly demonstrates the need for operational processes and training to support a fast, effective service. However, it’s also about reading the guest’s needs and recognising the appropriate pace. The silent impact on your brand when the pace is wrong (and too slow is a more common complaint than too fast) can be significant.
“With less than half of customers saying that they would complain while on-site, it can be difficult for operators to even be aware of problems before they leak into the guest’s recommendations. This demonstrates the need for a comprehensive evaluation system that can compare the experience against the brand standards and highlight areas where improvement is needed.”