Restaurant Service Benchmark Study 2018

Did you know that Coyle’s panel of 30,000+ restaurant diners participate in an ongoing benchmarking study? It’s true! Each and every night we are scoring dozens of restaurants’ performance.

Here are some of the findings from over 7,000 restaurant visits at full service restaurants throughout the world over the last year.


What can we learn?

  • Server attentiveness is viewed amongst the weakest parts of the table service experience by diners. The biggest culprits? Missed satisfaction checks and spotty service towards the end of the dining experience. The main courses being served is important but shouldn’t be the climax.
  • Development of initial rapport is another area of opportunity. Basically, that is the server’s first impression on the table right? Beat your competition by ensuring your service staff definitively makes the most of the greeting and exudes positive energy.  Next, really listen to the guests’ questions, probe a little, collaborate and connect them to the experience.  “Everything’s great,” and “The ribs are popular,” Isn’t cutting it.
  • Timing remains critical. No one wants to feel rushed, but they really hate waiting. Guests reported relatively low marks for pacing of the experience.
  • Upselling continues to be one of the perennial areas where operations struggle. Refills and proactive/suggestive selling are ways to entice the guest, enhance the experience and drive average check.
  • Management presence-When management is on the floor, they are the tide that lifts all boats including timing, server engagement, and even perception of food.

The benchmark data is a critical diagnostic tool for our clients to compare themselves to others just like then competing for diner dollars. Moreover, they get to merge their data with a large and relevant set to look for variances.  These variances help them set their own service programs and focus the team on specific and achievable goals.

Want to see the full report? Or, better yet, do you want to see how your restaurant stacks up against the competition?  Contact us.

© 2024 Coyle Hospitality Group. Reproduction of any material without written authorization is strictly prohibited.

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