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Improved restaurant satisfaction boosts your revenue

4 min read
Jun 19, 2024

Golf club managers aren't necessarily restaurateurs by nature, so for some, it might be challenging to know where to adjust to ensure everything comes together seamlessly. But new Players 1st survey data based on 130,000 survey responses from guests in the US indicates that an improved food and beverage experience will result in higher revenue for the restaurant.

For many golfers, hitting the course isn't just about sinking putts; it's also about sinking their teeth into some delicious food. Whether it's a hearty breakfast before teeing off, a mid-round snack to keep the energy up, or a celebratory dinner after conquering the 18th hole, a pit stop is often much needed in the player's journey. 

And what’s better than offering your golfers a tasty meal or refreshing drink during their visit? After all, golf courses are renowned for their exceptional hospitality, and offering quality food and beverages in your restaurant is a key part of that experience. 

Yet, some golf club managers may not be aware of what a well-run and excellent restaurant can contribute because their focus may instead be on improving the course and surrounding facilities – which makes sense, as their interest likely stems from their position outside the kitchen. 

But let us introduce you to our findings on this topic: Did you know that how golfers rate their satisfaction with their restaurant experience heavily impacts how many guests swing by the dining room?  

That's right. The happier the golfers are with your food and beverage, the more likely they are to return, bringing along their friends and fellow golf enthusiasts.

Our analyses on 130,000 guests survey responses from 2022-2023 conducted in the US reveals a clear relationship between satisfaction with the restaurant and the number of guests who visit. In other words, perceived satisfaction directly impacts the restaurant's footfall. The higher the satisfaction, the more guests.
Players 1st

The impact of restaurant satisfaction 

Let's delve right into the findings to get to the bottom of things and see just how much of an impact restaurant satisfaction really has on the number of guests who swing by for refreshments and a bite of food. 

The data concludes that a 10-point increase in the food and beverage satisfaction score results in a 9%-point increase in the share of green fee players that visit the restaurant after they’ve played. Needless to say, it's probably not surprising that more guests in the restaurant naturally means increased revenue.

Figure 1_ The relationship between clubs shares of visitors in the restaurant and their players rating of food and beverage. The results are based on 136 clubs in the US and nearly 130.000 r
Figure 1: The relationship between clubs’ shares of visitors in the restaurant and their players’ rating of food & beverage. The results are based on 136 clubs in the US and nearly 130.000 responses from golfers in 2022 and 2023. Source: Players 1st.


A previous analysis of our survey data from Scandinavia also shows that the same range of increase in satisfaction can lead to up to a 15% boost in restaurant visitors. I don't know about you, but that sounds like sweet music to our ears. 

And as mentioned before, the great golf experience goes beyond nicely maintained fairways and greens. Surely, the course is definitely important, but the overall customer experience depends on how well the entire facility performs, just as we know from the chain of touchpoints. That's also why having top-notch food and drinks can really set a golf course apart. 

The facts and figures 

Now, you're probably thinking, it all sounds very clever, but what does it actually mean for your golf club, and what's the real potential for your business? 

Well, it's actually not the world's most complicated math problem to solve. Let's try to look at it. 

Through one of our previous studies in Denmark, we know that the average green fee guest spends around 195 Danish Kroner per visit to the restaurant, which roughly converts to 28 USD. Since the study is a few years old and considering inflation, we're relying on an average spending of 30 USD per restaurant visit in this article.  

Based on that assumption, each club can easily calculate how much additional revenue they could potentially earn on top of their existing restaurant income if they achieve making their diners happier. 

Let's say that a certain public American golf club tracks 50,000 annual rounds, which is not unlikely, especially in the sunbelt states where some clubs operate all year round. If we assume they bring off a 10-point increase in restaurant satisfaction, we will end up with the equation below. 

50,000 guests x 9% x 30 USD = 135,000 USD

Figure 2_ Formula for calculating potential additional earnings with +10 point in satisfaction
Figure 2: Formula for calculating potential additional earnings with +10 point in satisfaction. Source: Players 1st


This calculation naturally needs to take several considerations into account, and of course, it can't be guaranteed that your restaurant's income will increase by exactly 135,000 USD just because you have 50,000 annual rounds on the course since the average spending in the US might differ from state to state.  

However, our data strongly indicates the relationship between satisfaction with the restaurant and restaurant visitors, with an increase of 10 points in the satisfaction score leading to roughly 9% more dining guests. 

One thing, though, is certain: With more satisfied guests in the restaurant, there's guaranteed to be an economic gain to some extent. So, as the golf club manager or board member, you have the opportunity to determine just how profitable a restaurant you're running by using satisfaction as one of your main operations drivers or key performance indicators.


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