Employees give Albron a mere 4.4; students grant the campus caterer a 4.6. These are the results of a customer satisfaction survey conducted by Albron at the end of last year.
A good two thousand students and staff participated in the research, designed as an online survey. Almost half of the students, and exactly half of the employees, assessed that they are somewhat to very dissatisfied with the operations of the caterer on campus.
Concerning the products, employees are especially disappointed in the quality of warm meals, salads, and soups – these products were rated ‘poor’ by 61, 48, and 39 percent respectively. Students do not consider the warm meals tasty either – 52 percent is very dissatisfied. Whether it is the quantity, the tastiness, the variety, or the price, particularly the price, all items score poorly. Nor are students taken by the salads, 40 percent is very dissatisfied. Especially the value for money is a thorn in the side for the clientele: No less than 83 percent are very dissatisfied. And a whopping 94 percent think something needs to be done about the prices, so that they can enjoy lunch at Albron more often. Only 15 percent are willing to pay more than € 3.50 for a lunch. At this point around 60 percent of the students pay a visit to the canteen two to five times per week.
For staff – of whom 70 percent buy something from the caterer two to five times per week and 33 percent is willing to pay more than € 3.50 for lunch – price is the biggest issue as well. 86 percent perceive the price point as an obstacle to visit the canteen, while the quality is a considerable factor reducing the frequency of visits for another 57 percent. Michel van Wijk, general manager of catering at Albron, calls the results disappointing. “Food and drink is our business, and we enjoy it. Of course results like these are not nice for us.” It goes without saying that Van Wijk and his team are working on improvements. The task is daunting however, because they can change little about the prices. “But still, we are tackling the value for money issue by improving the quality; among other things by offering fresher bread and more variety.”
Van Wijk admits that it is no walk in the park to deliver high quality for the agreed price point of € 3.87. “For five or six euro this would of course be easier.” The ambition of Albron – to score a seven for the next customer satisfaction survey, to be held end of the year 2012 – seems utopian. Van Wijk: “I do believe it will be very difficult.” GvdE