SA consumers are more satisfied with Fast Food Restaurants than Full Service Restaurants

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by ConsultaPanel Team, 02 Jul 2014

Media release

Wednesday, 2 July 2014:
South African consumers have rated their satisfaction with fast food restaurants highly, giving them a satisfaction score of 80 out of 100. Full service restaurants were given a lower satisfaction rating of 75.7 out of 100, according to the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) released today.

Fast Food Restaurants

The SAcsi surveyed 2 740 customers of Debonairs Pizza, Nando’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Steers, Chicken Licken and a selection of other fast food outlets. The brands were selected based on market share.

Although the industry’s satisfaction score was very similar to last year’s score of 79.3 out of 100, there have been significant changes in South African customer satisfaction with the various brands.

Debonairs maintained its industry leader position with a score 3.6% above the industry average and shared the industry leader position with Nando’s, which scored 3.5% above the industry average. KFC, McDonald’s (industry leader in 2013) and Steers all scored on par with the industry. Chicken Licken’s satisfaction score dropped 6.5% below the industry average this year – a large drop considering the brand was industry leader last year. KFC has increased its satisfaction score by 3.6%

“Chicken Licken’s customers reported lower expectations this year than last year. Their perceptions of both quality and value of the food and service are low in spite of their lower expectations. This change has contributed significantly to Chicken Licken’s declining satisfaction score. Debonairs and Nando’s both exceeded their customers’ expectations contributing to their high satisfaction scores,” explains Prof. Adré Schreuder, founder and chair of the SAcsi.

Full Service Restaurants

The SAcsi surveyed 2 133 customers of Mugg & Bean, Ocean Basket, Spur and Wimpy as well as other restaurants. There is no clear industry leader among the full service restaurants, with the “Other” category taking the industry leader position.

The full service restaurant industry as a whole showed no significant change from last year to this year. Ocean Basket (last year’s industry leader) showed a 5% decline in its satisfaction score, as did Mugg & Bean (-2.7%). Although Wimpy’s satisfaction score has not changed, changes in scores from last year to this year among the industry players have caused Wimpy to move out of its ‘below par’ status to being on par with the industry.

Ocean Basket’s customers showed lower expectations as well as lower perceived value and quality when compared to last year. These factors have contributed to Ocean Basket’s lower satisfaction score this year and the loss of its industry leader position.

“When looking at the industry scores as a whole, customers are relatively satisfied, but the significant changes within the industry cannot be overlooked. Both last year and this year, the smaller restaurant franchises (those categorised as “Other”) received higher satisfaction scores. These smaller franchises are giving the larger industry players stiff competition when it comes to providing food and service that satisfies their customers. Major players need to be careful not to rest on their laurels as the smaller franchises show higher customer loyalty scores relative to the industry,” explains Schreuder. “This means that customers who are not satisfied will take their business to other, smaller full service restaurants if they deem the food and service quality to be better,” says Schreuder.

International Comparison

SAcsi holds a licence with the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and forms part of a growing number of ACSI-licensed partner countries worldwide, which allows South Africa to compare its industries’ customer satisfaction with this global community.

SA shares the international fast food industry benchmark with the USA (80), beating the UK (78), South Korea (73), Turkey (72), Kuwait (70) and Singapore (67.9).

When compared to the ACSI international benchmark, SA is fourth among the measured countries for Full Service Restaurants. SA is led by the USA (81), Kuwait (79), and the UK (78), while scoring above South Korea (72), and Singapore (71.7).

About the research methodology

SAcsi is an independent index that is governed by the University of Pretoria and as such, no specific sponsor or client commissioned this survey. SAcsi releases monthly satisfaction indices to provide a national economic indicator of customer satisfaction with the quality of products and services available to household consumers in South Africa. Subscribing members have access to the full results.  Companies are selected for inclusion based on market share and the random sample includes a minimum of 270 respondents per company.

Summaries of the industry level reports are available on

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