Hospitality customers accept ‘new normal’

Lockdown hits just as customers accept hospitality’s ‘new normal’

The latest Customer Sentiment Tracker from Feed It Back and KAM Media found that lockdown is hitting us just as things seemed to be heading towards a “normal” level with regards to hospitality customer sentiment.

Based on feedback from 89,825 customers via the Feed It Back platform, October saw a 42% drop in the volume of complaints compared with September. The level of complaints fell across every sector of hospitality. Customers seemed to really be beginning to settle into the ‘new normal’ of hospitality.

NPS (net promoter score) for October 2020 (56) tracked in line with October 2019 (56). This follows a dip during Eat Out To Help Out in August (54).

‘Fast Casual’ see biggest recovery

The biggest recovery in customers’ eyes comes from the Fast Casual sector. NPS jumped from a low in August of 22 to 59. Social review ratings have also grown from an average of 3.9 in August to 4.3 in October.

“Fast Casual sector struggled in the eyes of its customers since re-opening, consistently gaining lower NPS scores, satisfaction ratings and customer confidence levels. October saw a considerable improvement and just as many close it seems the sector has won back customers. I hope they are able to pick up where they left off.”

Carlo Platia, CEO, Feed It Back

The tracker also identified speed of service as a growing issue in the Casual Dining sector specifically. NPS declined in October (54 to 42) accompanied by a rise in speed of service complaints. ‘Speed’ accounted for 20% of all complaints in this type of venue.

Atmosphere in hospitality has taken a hit

Cleanliness remains a key focus for customers. October also bought a rise in complaints about ‘atmosphere’ as a result of Covid procedures. They accounted for 8% of all complaints over all compared with just 3% this time last year.

“The data is showing us that the atmosphere and hospitality experience still isn’t quite as customers expect it to be. Going into this second lockdown consumers are less fearful and more stressed and frustrated. There is a huge opportunity for hospitality to be a saviour in the eyes of its customers. Let’s give them something to smile about once lockdown measures lift again.”

Katy Moses, MD, KAM Media

Time to give customers something to smile about!

2-in-3 of Brits say that they expect to drink out less this festive period. The industry has work to do to entice them out of their homes. Now the industry knows how to keep our customers safe, re-opening should focus on bringing them much needed joy and happiness!

The monthly tracker from Feed It Back and KAM Media measures key KPIs focussed on customer sentiment including NPS and satisfaction ratings covering cleanliness, atmosphere, service and value. To receive the (free) tracker direct to your inbox, visit

Blake Gladman

Hi, I'm Blake, Strategy & Insight Director at KAM. I look after all our research products and manage the collection and delivery of insight throughout KAM. I love long runs and good food (the perfect life balance).