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Pentallect Finds Strong Consumer Preference for Independent Versus Chain Restaurants

CHICAGO, April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Independent restaurants have recently been outperforming chains, which represents a notable shift in momentum from historical patterns.  Pentallect, a food industry strategy and business improvement firm, in collaboration with its insights partner Critical Mix, conducted consumer research to better understand the factors underlying this dynamic.  The research findings clearly identify why Independents are "winning", as consumers rated Independent restaurants superior to chains in 12 of the 15 studied key attributes across both operational and emotional metrics.  In most attributes, the perceived Independent performance advantage is very wide. 

Restaurant Attribute Ratings (Top 2 Boxes)

Attribute

Independents  

Chains

Gap

Community Oriented

82%

53%

+29pp

Is Special

80%

52%

28

Personalized Service 

83%

57%

26

Shares My Values

78%

52%

26

Food Quality

87%

71%

16

Good Service

87%

71%

16

Innovative Menus

77%

61%

16

Decor/Atmosphere 

80%

67%

13

Consistent Quality 

84%

73%

11

Value for Money

76%

67%

9

Menu Variety 

82%

74%

8

Delivery Services 

59%

58%

1

Use of Technology 

52%

72%

-20

Social Media Use 

50%

61%

-11

Convenient Location

77%

78%

-1

Source: Pentallect and Critical Mix consumer research, 2017

Rob Veidenheimer, Pentallect's President, noted that "Independent restaurants are not only perceived to be doing a better job of meeting consumers' expectations regarding the dining experience and ambiance, they are also doing better than chains in the  "table stakes" of food quality, service, value and menu innovation than have traditionally been a strength of many chains  This combined set of favorable attributes represents a significant advantage for well-managed Independents, and overcoming the perceived gap represents a major challenge for chains."

Bob Goldin, a Partner at Pentallect, commented that "based on these fundamentals, we project that independent restaurants will grow at 4 -5% per year for the balance of the decade, almost double the 2 – 3%  chain growth rate.  This has significant implications for supply chain partners' go-to-market strategies and resource allocations".  

Pentallect notes that while chain restaurants, which account for well over one-half of all restaurant sales, will respond forcefully to regain traffic and continue to receive support among their suppliers, the favorable consumer perceptions driving independent restaurant growth are likely to remain and even possibly accelerate over the next several years. 

About Pentallect Inc.
Pentallect is a strategic consulting and business improvement firm that provides an extraordinary breadth of food industry knowledge, drawing on vast food business management experience and broad networks of relationships throughout the supply chain for manufacturers, operators and distributors. The team leverages its expertise to conduct in-depth assessments of clients' business strategies, structures, sales and marketing efforts, supply chains and spending/profitability to provide guidance and actionable insights that will have a direct P&L impact. For more information, including a copy of the firm's report on the findings, visit http://www.pentallect.com or call at 888-651-3104.

About Critical Mix 
Critical Mix provides easy access to highly-targeted global survey respondents, survey programming and data visualization services. Driven by a passion for simplifying data collection, the team at Critical Mix is personally invested in giving clients the ultimate customer service experience. Every project, no matter the size or type, is supported by a team of always-available, experienced market research practitioners who anticipate your needs and provide thoughtful customer care. Options include a complete spectrum of high-quality data collection tools ranging from sample sources, survey programming and fielding, to report automation and data dashboards. Critical Mix is headquartered in Westport, CT and operates globally. Call us at 1-800-651-8240 or email simplify@criticalmix.com

Media Contact:
Bob Goldin
P: 312.286-6506
E: bobg@pentallect.com

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