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Consumers say paying standard price for a meal is better value than dining with a voucher

31 December 2012

  • Value for money, customer service, quality and range of food and drink all rated as better when dining without a voucher;
  • Consumers more likely to recommend when they have paid full price.

Consumers say they get better value for money by paying the standard price for a meal than when dining out with a voucher, according to the findings of the latest Taste of the Nation survey of 3,000 adults by business advisory firm Deloitte and research consultancy BDRC Continental. 26% of consumers rated the value for money of their meal as excellent when they had paid full price, compared with just 19% when using a voucher.

The survey found a similar pattern across all of the factors considered important to consumers about their dining experience. 32% said customer service was excellent when paying standard price, compared with 22% when using vouchers. Similarly, 30% rated the quality of food as top notch, versus just 22% of those using a voucher. Quality of food is ranked the number one priority for consumers when eating out.  Additionally, 22% rated the range of food as excellent when paying full price, compared with 17% when using a voucher.

Jon Lake, a corporate finance director in the licensed retail group at Deloitte, comments: “Although you would expect a stronger range when paying full price, consumers expect the quality of food to be the same whether they use a voucher or not.  When they do use a voucher, consumers expect it to represent better value for money, a not unreasonable expectation.

“Our survey highlights a significant disconnect between consumer expectation and their actual experience. It suggests vouchers are failing to deliver if consumers’ experiences when they are using them are perceived as worse value for money than non-voucher occasions.”

Customers are much more likely to recommend a venue after a standard price dining occasion than one where a voucher is used (34% vs 22%). This further reinforces the view that vouchers are not always delivering on consumers’ expectations.

Lake continues: “When we conducted a similar survey a year ago, we found the majority (59%) of consumers have used a special offer voucher when eating out.  At the time we questioned the over reliance of some outlets on vouchers.  With vouchers an established feature of the eating out market, operators need to make sure that voucher occasions are competitive on more than just price if they are hoping to use them to attract more loyal customers.  A voucher can be a powerful tool when product and service levels remain high.”


Notes to Editors:

About the report
Taste of the Nation, produced by Deloitte, together with BDRC Continental, explores the trends and patterns of consumers’ eating and drinking habits out of the home.  It takes into consideration every time they purchase drink or food from a pub, bar, coffee/sandwich shop, fast food outlet, restaurant or club, whether it be a sit-in or takeaway occasion, shedding light on the size of the market and its opportunities. 

The survey was completed by a nationally representative sample of 3,000 British adults, during October 2012, and comprised strong representation from all UK regions (excluding Northern Ireland), as well as different age and gender groups.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

About BDRC Continental
BDRC Continental is the UK’s largest independent market research agency. Established in 1991, the company has built an unrivalled reputation as a full service consultancy with specialist expertise across a number of sectors including business to business, financial services, hotels, meetings & hospitality, media & advertising, internet & telecoms, Government & not for profit, culture & leisure and tourism, travel & transport.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Media contacts

Celine Gordine-Wright
Deloitte LLP
Job Title:
+44 (0) 20 7007 6384
Mark Smith
Job Title:
020 7007 7082 / 07 590 041 301

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