Surveys still suck, but according to this one, 551 Leeds and Bradford businesses selling food are at risk of losing over half of their customers due to poor food hygiene, according to research and analysis from Checkit.net.
61% of consumers say they won’t eat at a restaurant, takeaway, coffee shop or pub that has a low Food Standards Agency (FSA) Food Hygiene Rating while 75% say they wouldn’t risk dining at a restaurant that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident, even if recommended by someone that they trust.
But displaying those results is voluntary in England, so sorta meaningless.
According to the latest Food Standards Agency figures, there are 231 restaurants, cafes, canteens, mobile caterers, pubs, takeaways, sandwich shops and hotels in Leeds with a Food Hygiene Rating of two or below – 7% of the overall total.
This means they are classed as ‘urgent improvement necessary’, ‘major improvement necessary’ or ‘improvements necessary.’ For Bradford the figure is 222, making up 10% of food businesses in the city.
Takeaways and sandwich shops were the worst sector for low food hygiene ratings, with 16% of Bradford businesses, and 15% of those in Leeds scoring 2 or under. Given that 64% of consumers say they’d avoid takeaways with low food hygiene ratings, this will have a major impact on the sector’s revenues and individual business survival.
Checkit’s consumer research also found that diners would rather put up with poor service from rude and unhelpful staff than eat at dirty restaurants. 66% of respondents rated unclean or dirty premises as the first or second reason for not returning to a restaurant. Just 16% cited slow or poor service with 32% saying rude or unhelpful staff would stop them coming back again.