New research has revealed that two thirds of consumers judge the quality of a restaurant, pub or hotel based on the quality of its coffee. 

The survey of over 1,000 consumers by UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, also found that 77% of diners say a good coffee makes the difference between a mediocre and an exceptional dining experience. And, with less than 50% expecting to get a great cup of coffee when they eat out, there’s a significant opportunity for operators to put quality coffee on the menu.

Phil Smith, head of category and insight, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, comments: “With coffee on the high street going from strength to strength, it’s time for eating out operators to take their coffee seriously. Our research shows that consumers are demanding quality whenever they are eating out and this could be the difference between a satisfactory experience and surpassing expectations.

“Consumers are looking for specific attributes when choosing whether to purchase a coffee with a meal. Quality is the most important factor, but this is closely followed by consistency and choice. Operators need to get the basics right and deliver a coffee experience that consumers will remember and can rely on every time they visit.”

Other results revealed:

  • Three quarters of consumers prefer high street to restaurant coffee
  • 48% of people choose to drink coffee with lunch, compared with 40% with dinner
  • The five most important factors when choosing a coffee are taste, strength, freshness, brewing method and the roast
  • Eight out of 10 consumers have chosen a coffee over a dessert when eating out…with 5% always choosing coffee
  • Coffee quality is deemed highest at fine dining restaurants, followed closely by independent restaurants, then branded restaurants and hotels with pubs deemed the lowest quality by consumers

The research of 1,112 UK consumers was conducted by Allegra Insight in August 2015 on behalf of UCC Coffee UK & Ireland.