New research suggests hygiene has overtaken factors such as quality of food and speed of service as the most important factor when choosing a restaurant.
Some 74% of customers said hygiene was now the most important consideration when eating out, ahead of the quality of food (55%) and value for money (33%).
In fact, price promotions (24%) and service (28%) fell to the bottom of the list when it comes to what consumers want post Covid-19, according to independent research from Wrapmaster.
Adrian Brown, managing director of the brand’s owner Cofresco Foodservice, said that with more than two thirds of consumers claiming they will now check hygiene standards online or with the venue before booking a table, back-of-house has become front of mind for nervous diners.
“Kitchens have always done an incredible job with hygiene and food safety. But Covid-19 and reopening are bringing several new challenges, as this insight has shown.
“Consumers are anxious. Reassuring diners, so they have the confidence to eat out, is going to be key to getting businesses back on track.”
That reassurance will come from kitchens making improvements in food safety and being able to communicate this, Mr Brown said.
Wrapmaster’s research showed that an overwhelming 93% of diners said they would feel better if pubs, restaurants and takeaways took steps to update equipment that can be cleaned out and sterilised regularly.