October 29th, 2010

Top five brands for customer service named

Living Ventures, John Lewis's cafes and restaurants, Wagamama, Premier Inn and Maison Blanc have been named as the five brands delivering the best customer service experiences in an industry benchmarking survey by the National Skills Academy Hospitality.
Over the past year, The National Skills Academy Hospitality has developed a unique hospitality benchmark programme to assess the customer service delivery of companies across the sector. For the first time, this moves away from the more traditional process checks of mystery diner programmes and instead, benchmarks indicators such as the warmth, welcome, personality, staff product knowledge, training, perceived value for money and the customer's likeliness to recommend.
Of all brands visited where ten or more outlets have been measured against the benchmark, Living Ventures, John Lewis's cafes and restaurants, Wagamama, Premier Inn and Maison Blanc topped the polls having the highest hospitality benchmark results.
TOP FIVE BRAND SCORES
Living Ventures  90.78%
John Lewis   86.89%
Wagamama    83.44%
Premier Inn  80.4%
Maison Blanc   78.95%
David McHattie, CEO of the National Skills Academy Hospitality said, "Although Living Ventures restaurants are based in the North of England and Scotland the service they provide customers with has ensured that even in these challenging times, like for like sales are positive and growing. The 90.78% score Living Ventures has averaged (taken from scores across all of their outlets) is an impressive testimony to the personality, skill and value that the customer recognises and returns to experience time and time again. Through the hospitality benchmark, we continue to support them to deliver to these consistently high standards."
He added, "We all know how important customer service is to company success but now, with this type of benchmarking data we can start to understand the top performers and provide industry with insight and support never before available. We developed the hospitality benchmark to provide customer insight and advice from experienced operators at an affordable price. The target individual outlets, brands and the industry must strive to reach is 90%. Only then can we be confident that the customer service offered is developing loyal customers who will act as advocates and evangelists. At that level we can also be sure that the service is world class."   
A number of businesses across the UK, from small independents to multiple outlet companies are using the hospitality benchmark programme to drive better customer service and consequently business growth. Simon Wilkinson, COO Kout Food Group comments, "We are using the hospitality benchmark programme in our Maison Blanc operation and it has certainly been a key component in helping to grow the sales and profitability of the business. It also provides invaluable guest insight."
The data accrued by the hospitality benchmark covers chains and multiple site holders to independents. To find out if you were one of the 1,200 companies assessed by the National Skills Academy Hospitality, and to gain bespoke analysis of your results from ex industry operators contact benchmark@hospitalityskillsacademy.co.uk  
For more information visit www.excellencefound.co.uk/hospitalitybenchmark
 

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Living Ventures is the proud operator of some of the most exciting brands in the UK restaurant and bar market.