How Do Americans Feel About Restaurants? With ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg | 7investing
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How Do Americans Feel About Restaurants? With ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg

July 13, 2021 – By Samantha Bailey

The restaurant industry suffered as much as any other during the pandemic. Dining rooms closed, companies had to pivot to takeout and curbside pickup. Even when dining rooms could open, they opened with limited capacities in many places.

Despite that, consumers were actually fairly happy with the industry, according to results from the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). David VanAmburg, Managing Director of the ACSI joined the 7investing Podcast to explain why consumers were forgiving of the restaurant industry at large despite the challenging operating environment.

VanAmburg joined Dan Kline to break down why the winners in the space succeeded and why a really large brand continues to bring up the rear of the annual survey when it comes to the fast-food part of the survey.

It was a very strange year, but survey scores did not move very much and very few brands saw their scores move up or down more than 1%. VanAmburg also shared his outlook for the next year and what we should be watching for.

Timestamps

01:35 – What Are Some Overall Pandemic Related Trends in Regard to Consumer Behavior?

06:50 – Food Delivery and Customer Satisfaction During the Pandemic

09:42 – What Caused Such Similar Scores Between Competing Full Service Restaurant Chains?

13:59 – Chick-fil-A vs McDonald’s vs Chipotle

19:48 – Was Simply a Return to Normalcy a Large Factor in Survey Scores?

23:29 – Will We See Bigger Shifts in Customer Loyalty Post Pandemic?

28:27 – Upcoming ACSI Surveys

Related 7investing Content

ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg on the State of Retail During the Pandemic

Big Rewards Lead to Big Gains in Fast-Food Industry

Transcript

Dan Kline  0:02

And welcome to the 7investing Podcast. I am Dan Klein, and I’m being joined today by David VanAmburg, a frequent guest of the various programs we do. David is the managing director of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (www.theacsi.org). When you Google them, don’t click on the one that always comes up above ACSI, which is a Christian Schools organization. If you Google ACSI, it is always the second listing, you really have to work hard to improve your SEO to climb that Christian school group, because there’s probably very, very little overlap. David, welcome to the program.

David VanAmburg  0:36

Thank you, Dan. And yes, there’s very little overlap. And we’ve been, we’ve been experiencing the American Christian Schools International for more than a quarter of a century now as far as people saying, well, you’re not them are you? Well, no, we’re not.

Dan Kline  0:49

I get mail for multiple Dan Kline’s who are in the media business. And I am friends with Danny Klein from from QSR magazine, who spells it differently, who you might you might know, but I never get mail from for Daniel Klein, the saxophone player, I believe, or the drummer maybe in the J. Geils Band. We are not close enough to be confused.

But we’re going to talk today about your survey about the restaurant industry, I find every survey interesting. But before we get into that specific one, we’re a full year, we’re 16 months into the pandemic, we are now coming out of the pandemic but your data is back looking. What have you seen as sort of overall pandemic related trends? Are consumers being harsher, nicer? How is it coming out for you?

David VanAmburg  1:35

Pretty steep declines across the board for most industries, the ACSI in the aggregate, and we measure some 400 companies in four dozen industries in 10 sectors of the economy, which is a mouthful to say, I know. So that we can actually talk about satisfaction for the household consumer in general, right. And that has been declining pretty steeply over the last year. And a lot of it’s caused by the pandemic, although some industries are faring better, and some are faring worse for the experience.

Dan Kline  2:06

So that’s what I felt when I looked at your restaurant survey where everything was, and you just corrected me about this before the show, everything was basically up a point down a pointer even and you pointed out that a point is almost irrelevant in your survey. So I actually feel like people were really forgiving. Is that the trend you saw with restaurants? Or did you see something I’m missing?

David VanAmburg  2:26

I think so, especially with the full service restaurants, fast food was basically flat. At the industry level, it’s flat, I know you’ll you’ll show this or talk about this in a little bit. And most companies, most individual chains were, as you said, either kind of zero or up a point, down a point, not much going on there. I think in large part because especially with drive thrus being a big thing for most of the large chains, the expectations didn’t change a whole lot, right, you could still get your kids Happy Meal at McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), you could still do most of the things that you wanted to do with fast food anyway, pre pandemic, during the pandemic.

Where there was a lot more forgiveness was on the full service restaurant side. And that’s everything from the huge chains like Applebee’s and Fridays and so on, but also just your favorite locally owned, you know, restaurant that you love to go out to on a regular basis. Because they had to pivot, they had to think quickly. How do we do things differently? How do we stay in business? When we don’t have a drive thru option. When we’ve got to go to a takeout model, which not every restaurant was doing some more like a California Pizza Kitchen, you know, in our area had takeout well before the pandemic. But then especially delivery, how do we work with Grubhub? How do we work with DoorDash (NYSE: DASH)? How do we keep getting that food our diners like to have in their in their hands and in their stomachs, right? But but they can’t come to our restaurant Sit down. So I think there was a lot more forgiveness on the full service.

Dan Kline  4:09

I have to admit I was surprised by this because I thought the full service takeout experience, because they didn’t have that at first was very bad. They didn’t have the right containers in many cases and I was forgiving on this. There were shortages of some items. It’s not rated on your survey, but we got to BJ’s the restaurant chain not the warehouse club. There’s one right across the street from us and I like their pork and they couldn’t source it during much of the pandemic. Well, I understand that. Or places that you know normally do chicken wings we’re having trouble getting chicken wings and that type of thing is fully understandable.

What I didn’t find that understandable and I’m surprised more customers aren’t angry is showing up to pick up your order and they don’t know what you’re talking about. In my case, and I think we talked about this showing up on Christmas Day at a Smokey Bones which again is not I believe on your survey. Too small, probably. Showing up there and yeah, they weren’t open. Why their system let me place an order. There were so many glitches like that. In any of your data did you see customers actually acknowledging those things and just sort of letting them go?

David VanAmburg  5:17

Oh, absolutely. And not necessarily letting them go. Certainly, in the earlier period of the pandemic, there were logistical nightmares galore. Right. I mean, there were all kinds of things. I think you and I talked about this a year ago, the incident that we had at a P.F. Chang’s, where we were ordering delivery for Mother’s Day, and the order just never showed up. And the story was, well, we got slammed, and we just didn’t, we couldn’t handle all of the business. Well, it was Mother’s Day, you probably should have imagined that that was going to be a big deal, especially what, two, three months at that point into the pandemic.

But I think a lot of these chains, struggled at first on how to pivot and the logistics were the biggest part of it, right? This is a whole new model for many of them as far as how to get the food out, whether it’s DoorDash, showing up to pick up orders, and how do you arrange that you put the sacks on different tables with names on them, and so on. And the takeout model and not and just not getting slammed? Right. But we saw that improve over time. I mean, and I’ve experienced that anecdotally, now too, even here in Ann Arbor, Michigan, just some frustrations last year around this time versus how smoothly we noticed in this past winter and spring, doing takeout and doing delivery from a lot of our favorite restaurants proved to be. You know, they they got there in many cases and got a lot of this smoothed over I think

Dan Kline  6:50

I was very surprised that the companies that were using your Uber Eats and your DoorDashes and your Postmates which are lousy, do not do a good job or have good customer service. Customer service for them, and we’ve talked about this many times, is half your order didn’t show up, here’s a refund. Well, that’s not problem solving, as we’ve gone through, that didn’t seem to blow back on any of the restaurants at all. Because every restaurant on your list, and I’ll share the list in a second here. Almost every one of them uses one or more of those services. None of these went into. And that’s showing my whole screen, isn’t it not just the list here? Well, there’s nothing on my screen you can’t see. So and that’s not so bad, so we’ll hold this up for a second here.

David VanAmburg  7:34

Yeah, I think I think that’s right. And it speaks to, I think to the benefit of the restaurants. It speaks to a consumer awareness generally that DoorDash is not Longhorn Steakhouse, right. Grubhub is not actually Chipotle (NYSE: CMG), it’s just providing a taxi service for your food. So I think I think there was a decent amount of awareness and understanding and forgiveness again, to use that word on the part of the restaurant chains themselves with respect to consumers, you know, kind of being aware of that. The food showed up and it was cold, but I think the driver took a half hour to make a five minute drive. It’s not you know, it’s not your fault Applebee’s it’s it’s DoorDash or whoever it was that was actually doing the delivery. So I think I think that there was that ability to discern between the delivery service element of it versus the actual restaurants themselves.

Dan Kline  8:39

There is no amount that Applebee’s shouldn’t have to say they’re sorry, just for being Applebee’s. I say that as someone who has eaten at an Applebee’s. Normally, we go through the list here. And we go through each company, but I actually wanted to not do that this time. Because I think there’s something a little interesting here that that maybe you could explain. This appears to me at least at the full service. I’m looking at in front of me. As one of your tighter if not your tightest groupings at a pretty high number. So Longhorn Steakhouse came in number one, scoring an 80, which is they’ve been at the top, which makes sense. It’s pretty durable food, it reheats well. And then at the bottom, you have IHOP at a 74. And that makes sense for the other reason because those foods don’t travel that well. Omelets don’t move that well. Pancakes don’t reheat that well. And IHOP probably wasn’t doing a lot of delivery or takeout business before this, whereas Longhorn was probably doing at least some takeout. Is it rare that you have companies grouped within six points and 74 is not that bad a score, right?

David VanAmburg  9:42

True on both counts. It’s not that bad of a score overall, it’s roughly average for the entire ACSI for the aggregate of, of household consumer satisfaction with all the products and services that we typically buy and use and fairly tight margin. And I’ll just add to that, especially given the number of measures, you know, we find a pretty tight margin, for example, in the household appliance industry, which again, is not super surprising, you know, dishwashers and ovens and so on. There are only four major players in that industry in the United States, right? You’ve got your GE appliances (NYSE: GE), and you’ve got your Bosch (NSE: BOSCHLTD) and you’ve got your Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) and so on.

This is a pretty big list and a pretty diverse list in the sense that, you know, just take the two that you mentioned, somebody wants a good steak, a decent steak, even if it’s from a national chain, not from a, you know, small mom and pop place that’s known for making great steaks versus, you know, pancakes and sausage. I mean, those are very different kinds of foods. And, and yet, as you as you say, and I think somewhat pandemic related here, too, and in terms of kind of being forgiving of experiences over the last year. Not a whole lot of differentiation among any of these chains. Really at the end of the day.

Dan Kline  11:03

Do you think some of this is expectations? Because if you’re Longhorn Steakhouse, I am not expecting Ruth’s Chris (NASDAQ: RUTH). I like Longhorn Steakhouse I may even eat there tonight in fact, we’re headed to Orlando, and it’s one of the places we often go there. That being said, I know I’m getting a pretty edible, decent, not too tough steak at a reasonable price. If I go to IHOP, I’m not sure I’m that forgiving compared to going to a nice diner or a nice breakfast place, or going to an IHOP or a Denny’s (NASDAQ: DENN)? So is there just some level of just meeting a basic expectation where maybe Longhorn gets a little more runway.

David VanAmburg  11:38

Yeah, expectations are definitely set based on obviously prior experiences, word of mouth advertising, all of the things that go into creating an image in our minds of what any particular experience is going to be, dining or otherwise. And I think that’s absolutely right, you’re going to have, you know, higher, you’re going to have higher expectations of Alexis than you are of Ikea, right? I mean, you know, it’s just, it’s part and parcel of how messages are bombarded at us or our own past experiences with various different kinds of levels of, of products and services. So yes, absolutely, that’s going to play a role.

Dan Kline  12:18

So in our prep document, here, I use the term treading water, I said, it feels like it’s treading water. Do you think these numbers are largely unchanged? Because people aren’t actually basing it on their pandemic experience? They’re just sort of going back to, we’re gonna, this is gonna segue us into the short term, because there’s one company that dropped and I can absolutely tell you why. But do you think this is more of like a historical document than a, here’s how my last year was? I know, you can’t get into the minds of the people taking the survey?

David VanAmburg  12:46

Well, I can, to some extent, in the sense that I know how the survey is constructed, and the survey is constructed. One of the key elements of the ACSI approach is that we are not, we’re not asking you to reflect only on the most recent transactional experiences a snapshot in time, we’re asking you for what we call cumulative satisfaction, an assessment of your satisfaction with a particular product or service over your, Well, obviously, more relatively recent than distant past in terms of recollection, but you know, your overall experience with that particular product. So we don’t want to know the last time you went to McDonald’s, just tell us about that particular experience. It’s how would you rate your satisfaction with McDonald’s as a chain overall. Now, that means that something like the pandemic could have a slight negative impact on this or that product or service, but it’s not supposed to have a huge impact if if measured correctly as we measure it, which is to talk about, you know, historically, as you just said, your overall experience with these products and services.

Dan Kline  13:59

So let’s talk about the limited service restaurants. This was a wider range, you had Chick-fil-A at the top with 83. And McDonald’s at the bottom with with a 70. That actually really surprises me because McDonald’s from a technology point of view, has actually done as good a job as anybody. They were well ahead of the game in terms of delivery and pickup. And so is that just a comment on food? I’ve said for years, how could you possibly get McDonald’s delivered? It has a shelf life of like 45 seconds. Is that just, yeah, I got it. It was easy, but my McNuggets are soggy and my fries are aren’t as good as they are in the restaurant, or is there just like some sort of deep seated hatred because they’re always at the bottom of this category.

David VanAmburg  14:38

I have to say, Dan, I mean, you know, one of the things that’s that’s remarkable here about the pandemic measure of fast food by ACSI is that it isn’t remarkable. There’s really nothing that surprises me about McDonald’s still being at the bottom because McDonald’s was at the bottom of our study 20 years ago. I mean, they’ve always kind of been the laggard in the industry which shocks everyone you talk to you. Because they’re like, wait, they’re the biggest. McDonald’s is the best known brand and the biggest in terms of number of sales and number of franchises, etc, etc, etc.

But, you know, a quarter century of ACSI data, which is just 1000’s, and 1000’s of customer reviews of McDonald’s, all say the same thing, people just don’t actually like the food all that much. I mean, they go there, a lot of it has to do with kids, because they do have the best, most kid friendly approach and did to their credit pivot faster and better, probably than anyone else, when it came to, you know, we’re gonna stick apple slices in the Happy Meals now and have more of these sort of health, you know, healthier choices for kids. But they were first, they had Ronald McDonald, they had the golden arches, they had all the cool ads, and you know, they don’t have a creepy Burger King, large headed figure, like, like some people complain about in those ads. Um, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the best, right? And and, yeah, it’s this snapshot of the pandemic. It looks like any other really as if it didn’t exist when you come to talking about the rankings of these fast food companies.

Dan Kline  16:12

So the only big change, is it fair to say 4% is a fairly big change in this, is Chipotle. And I’m going to argue that Chipotle has beloved food, it’s a great place to eat the why they can’t melt my cheese. I don’t know, I’ve said this on air with you before. But that’s that it’s good. Even when it travels, and it doesn’t look as good. It’s still tasty. But they’re Chipotlane, which is drive thru that you can’t order from that you have to order on your phone, where when you get to the front, there’s a row of bags, and it’s like a chance they’ll have your order. This is not well executed. Is it? Is it possible that it’s all execution and not food that draged them down 4%?

David VanAmburg  16:54

Yes, absolutely. I mean, this falls under the service category, right? I mean, you’ve got the food, and then you’ve got price, obviously. And then service is everything else, right? Which is you walk up and they take your order? And are they nice? Do they get it right, etc, etc, or the logistics of a takeout approach? Or a delivery approach? or whatever the case may be? And yes, you’re absolutely right. It’s not a, Oh, you know, the pandemic caused the food to taste worse, or, or anything of that nature, or prices doubled, or, you know, whatever. This is really about logistics, some chains simply did a much better job of figuring it out, and figuring it out quickly than other chains.

And of course, for Chipotle, a one problem would be, they don’t have drive thrus, right. They’re not McDonald’s, or Wendy’s (NASDAQ: WEN) or they weren’t set up to be that way from the beginning. So they did have to rethink some things that McDonald’s and these other chains didn’t really have to do, all the McDonald’s had to do was put the yellow tape across the doors and say, you know, we’re not gonna let you come in right now. But the rest of it is going to go exactly the way it’s always gone. Chains like Chipotle, they had to figure something else out because they’re still either stand alones or they’re in malls or whatever. And that wasn’t going to work. You needed a take out model or you needed to delivery model

Dan Kline  18:19

Chipotle was the victim of bad timing, not that any of us timed the pandemic, but they were actually making digital innovation, they were putting a second make line in their stores. They were adding the app based ordering they were adding Chipotlanes, which is a drive thru sort of into their new store layouts. The problem is they started doing that and you don’t want to have new technology going at 300% speed. And I think that was largely the problem. I saw very similar problems, not as reflected in your results. But with a Walmart (NYSE: WMT) when they went to free two day shipping. It was a giant mess for four or five months. I’m actually pretty confident Chipotle will, will bear that out.

But I want to ask a personal question here. This is sort of my opinion. So during the pandemic, little normalcies became fun, like that became our entertainment. So for me, there were months at a time we’re going to Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) was by far the most entertaining part of my day. And I didn’t care that I had to sit in line for 45 minutes to an hour. This is before they were even doing curbside or you go into the store and pick it up. This is when they were pure drive thru. I didn’t fault them for that at all. Because what else were they going to do? Like they had to deal with it. And I actually liked Starbucks more because I appreciated it in a way that I simply don’t appreciate it. You know, even now when the the dining rooms been open for three weeks here here in West Palm Beach. Do you think that factored in with with some of these companies?

David VanAmburg  19:48

Yes, absolutely. And I have similar anecdotal experiences. I mean, for me early in the pandemic, leaving the house every morning just to get a cup of coffee felt good. And as you say, it didn’t matter that everyone’s masked up, and it took far longer than it did before and so on it just it was a feeling of this was something I could control. This was something that I had a reason to get in my car and go somewhere and, you know, do something even in a tiny, tiny way. So I think that’s absolutely, you know, accurate. And I do agree that that I think that matters, right. I think that did play some role here.

Dan Kline  20:25

Yeah, absolutely. So it’s not a national brand. So Wawa, which is a convenience chain that that’s pretty big down here. That felt like when you’re in like high school, and you go on a class trip with someone, and you’re really really intensely friends for that, like three days, and then you kind of say hi in the hall. Wawa was my pandemic, buddy, because they were always open with masks and great and great safety measures they did a really good job with with plexiglass and never felt in danger in there. So I felt good just getting to like look at a shelf and be like, geez, which packaged coffee do I want, like, you know, let my son pick a bag of chips or something. So

David VanAmburg  20:58

Yeah, and I experienced that, too. My wife and I, there’s a small local grocery chain here in Ann Arbor that pivoted so quickly when the pandemic started to the plexiglass and all sorts of measures that. We had gone to, you know, we did most of our current shopping at Kroger’s (NYSE: KR) and places like that, but we would go to this small, you know, they have, like, they have like three stores total in the Ann Arbor area. For some things, we ended up basically giving them all our business, you know, through the pandemic, and it was like this psychological feeling of, wow, you care, you’ve got your stuff together, you want my business, because you’re going to all of these, you know, lengths to be safe. And I’m going to give it to you, you know, I’m gonna actually reward you for, for this show of safety and, you know, and good customer service. So it and now we still frequent that grocer as our main grocer, we’re not going to change because it’s just so.

Dan Kline  22:01

So I actually think that’s an important investing thesis, we largely saw during the pandemic, who the quality companies were, and I get it that McDonald’s is being punished and they, look I don’t eat at McDonald’s. But from an execution point of view, there is no reason like you know, what you’re getting, you should be satisfied. If you eat a McDonald’s, there’s nothing surprising about the menu. And they do a very good job getting food out and delivering. And whereas people are very forgiving of Domino’s (NYSE: DPZ), which is terrible pizza, but it’s pizza, it’s cheap, it gets to you. So there’s a weird standard there.

But I will say, largely when I’m looking at companies to invest in the ones that handled the pandemic well, and that’s not necessarily ones that like, you know, Starbucks only did 70% of its business in the first quarter, like, you know, of the pandemic, and it’s slowly recovered from there. But they had a way to deal with this. Other companies Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) did a really good job, and we all needed computers. So I do think and I’d be curious, and I guess we can talk about this again, in a year, maybe we’ll do a standalone show of did we have like a seismic shift of customer loyalty? Because, you know, like, it was really easy to go to Starbucks, it wasn’t necessarily easy to go to, I don’t know Einstein Brothers Bagels, or you know, Panera had a delivery system built in and curbside and methods to pick it up. But I don’t think it’s great. But it but it worked for people. So do you think we’re gonna see maybe in next year’s results, some bigger shifts as as loyalty shifted, as you just said yours did in grocery shopping?

David VanAmburg  23:29

Yeah, there could be some shifts in preference. And I and I think that matters. And I think as you and I talked, going through some of these other industries in the ACSI, over over the last year as the pandemic was was raging.  A lot of this is not going to go away, the pandemic might go away. But businesses have learned to do things a different way that they’re finding could be actually very evolutionary for them. So they’re not going to just quit now. And I think we’ll see the things that resonated with people for various companies are going to continue to resonate with them. Right. And you mentioned Domino’s, I mean, that’s a great example. We could debate whether their pizza sucks or not, my two kids actually happen to like Domino’s, but

Dan Kline  24:13

And my colleagues, so my colleague, Matt Cochrane, who has four kids has constantly brought up and we eat at like a nice pizza place every couple of months. He’s pointed out that like, if you have a few kids, kids don’t know good pizza versus bad pizza, my kid eats at Sbarro’s and he’s happy. He’s happy to do it. And the pricing is really important. When it comes to Domino’s. It’s a really cheap way to feed a family.

David VanAmburg  24:36

Exactly. But I think I think one of the keys for Domino’s and what helped launch them to the top of the pizza makers in this year’s study because of the pandemic was, as I’m sure you well know, Domino’s actually, itself, talks about how it’s a technology company that happens to sell pizza, right? They’re all about the logistics and the technology, everything. So there was really. There were there were probably few companies in the food business when the pandemic hit better positioned to really thrive than Domino’s you know, compared even to Papa John’s (NASDAQ: PZZA), Pizza Hut, the other big competitors that they have in the pizza business, let alone other, you know, restaurant chains, because they’re all about tech, tech, tech and being just awesome at their model of, here’s our app, order it, it’s going to be right you’re going to get it on time, you know, the whole the whole nine yards, that there couldn’t have been a better marriage between you know, a company providing food and and the pandemic at that time,

Dan Kline  25:35

Domino’s can deliver you a pizza on the beach. That’s pretty impressive. So I’ll throw out two changes that I found amazing. And we’re going into the personal realm of it here. So one, you saw pain points. Starbucks did a really amazing thing. But you are starting to see pushback from its baristas because you can go into your Starbucks drink and make an unlimited amount of changes, you can effectively turn your small coffee into a venti frappuccino. And they have to instead of just making it they have to go through and do people are ordering TikTok drinks. And like sometimes in the store, they’re ordering by name, and they don’t know what they are. But they’re ordering in the app. So Starbucks is actually looking at not maybe necessarily limiting things. But how do we make this easier for baristas, that’s something they constantly focus on.

The other one that impacted me recently is that, you know, I’m a very, very frequent traveler and I cruise a lot, I take a weekend cruise almost once a month, when that is a thing. And it is was the thing again, this this past weekend, I was on a Fourth of July cruise. And one of the worst things about taking a cruise is you have to do something called the muster drill. That’s when you all gather together, and they check it they show you how to use a life jacket and someone always doesn’t show up and it takes an hour, and you’re standing in the sun and it’s very, very unpleasant. Well, now you watch a video in your room, it has to note that you did that, then you have to go to a physical place, which is the location you would go if the ship was sinking, and check in with someone prove that you watched the video. If you haven’t, they will then do the little presentation for you. It took two minutes out of my day rather than an hour.

So I think we’re gonna I don’t tell that just for personal reasons, I tell. Because I think there’s 100 things in business, we’ve probably seen, like how bad self checkout is. And I know like Target (NYSE: TGT) has started positioning more people at self checkout to help you now that’s an interim fix. But it’s a fix, do you expect that we’re just going to have some things that like, we didn’t even realize we hated that now are better because the pandemic has has made it so?

David VanAmburg  27:32

Absolutely. I mean, this could be our, you know, this could be our microprocessor moment. You know, people love to tell the story about how we have smartphones that are these little tiny devices that are so powerful in our pockets nowadays is essentially, because of the Apollo program, right? It was like we had to shrink everything down so that astronauts could get to the moon. And then it had these enormous wide ranging possibilities. And I think we’re gonna kind of see elements of that from the pandemic, where people have just come up with new cool ways of doing things that save money are more efficient, whether they care that much or not, are actually going to make our lives happier and better to, right. They may be just doing it because it’s the cost savings. But like the example you gave where you’re like, oh, wow, that was pretty cool. That saved 58 minutes of my life. And I think we are going to see a lot more of that now.

Dan Kline  28:27

So let me ask one question to close. What surveys do you have coming up and which one are you most excited to see? For me? It’s this one a lot. Except I also love the one with the cable and ISP companies because I love saying bad things about Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) on air. They never disappoint in scoring badly.

David VanAmburg  28:46

We did that was the one we did [inaudible]. Well, coming up for the rest of the year, we’ve got a bunch of internet categories, social media coming out, which will be interesting from,

Dan Kline  28:56

That’s a topical one.

David VanAmburg  28:57

That’s a topical one, right, our news and opinion category. So we’ll have our scores for Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Fox News (NASDAQ: FOXA) and, you know, all of those so it’ll be interesting because it’s first time since the election and since everything that you know happened, all the chaos after that, that we’ve released those results. We’ve got autos coming up. And then really the last big one we’ve got is finance. Which is not something we expect to see post pandemic or even in the midst of the pandemic a lot of impact on banking and you know property insurance and things of that nature actually something like property insurance one of the biggest stories was just you know, any impact on satisfaction with your auto insurance because people weren’t driving or they were getting kickbacks, kickback sounds illegal but you know what I mean? Getting

Dan Kline  29:45

Rebates?

David VanAmburg  29:45

Getting rebates, thank you kickbacks, getting money back from their, you know, State Farm or whoever because they’ve barely been using their cars. So you know that one, we would not expect to see a whole lot of change. But it’ll be interesting to see autos, especially with the higher prices now for cars, you know, prices are starting to rise for a lot of things. And it will be interesting in the midst of this political landscape that we’ve experienced now over the last, you know, year plus, to see what happens with all of these news and opinion and social media.

Dan Kline  29:58

That is likely a show we’ll have to do privately, we have a no politics rule, and I’m not entirely sure I can explain. You know, let’s say Facebook and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) dropped by 10%, which I’m just guessing, but I think that’s pretty likely. Now, some of that is advertising and privacy. And some of that is absolutely going to be the highly politicized nature of all of this, and perception versus reality. And I’m not precisely sure anyone is a good enough host to get through that without talking politics.

David VanAmburg, Managing Director of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, we will absolutely do this again for autos and maybe we’ll touch upon the social media one, it depends how those results come out. If there’s big shifts, it’s a little bit easier to talk about than if it is subtle.

Thank you all for listening to the 7investing Podcast if you’d like to become a member, that is www.7investing.com/subscribe. I’m Dan Kline. Thank you for listening, 7investing, empowering you to invest in your future.

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