Guest satisfaction with branded hotels operated by top third-party management companies has declined, according to the J.D. Power North America Third Party Hotel Management Guest Satisfaction Benchmark. Driving the decline in guest satisfaction are food and beverage and staff service. Andrea Stokes, hospitality practice lead, said that as hotel demand increases, “guests are expressing not just a desire, but an expectation of a return to brand standards.” In the presence of lingering state and local restrictions and labor shortages, she said, that can be a challenge for management companies. The benchmark, which evaluates guest satisfaction with branded hotels that are operated by the largest third-party management companies, finds that guest satisfaction remains stable for amenities such as WiFi, pools and fitness centers. Perceptions of value for money also are unchanged compared with the pre-pandemic benchmark released in 2020. The 2021 benchmark consists of six factors (in alphabetical order): arrival/departure; cost and fees; food and beverage; guest room; hotel facilities; and services and amenities. The benchmark includes third-party operators with more than 14,000 rooms under management and is based on 3,085 guest responses for branded hotel stays from May 2020 through June 2021. Atrium Hospitality ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction, with a score of 863 (on a 1,000-point scale). White Lodging (858) ranked second, and Crestline Hotels & Resorts (855) ranked third.