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New Report: Sit Down Restaurants Miss Chance To Monetize 53 Million Customers

It has now been 15 months since restaurants across the United States were forced to close temporarily for the good of public health and safety, and their customers are slowly starting to return.

One of the many changes that they have seen in that time is their customers’ usage of loyalty and rewards programs. These programs have been available for years, but consumers’ interest in such programs has spiked during the past 15 months. Forty-seven percent of all restaurant customers now use at least one restaurant’s loyalty program and that number is set to increase going forward.

Consumers’ interest in loyalty programs skyrockets after signing up for one, in fact. Fifty-seven percent of restaurant customers who use one such program say they would spend more on food orders from other restaurants if those restaurants provided their own programs. Restaurants that do not provide them are therefore missing out on a massive opportunity to drive more sales.

In the latest edition of Delivering On Restaurant Rewards, a Paytronix collaboration, PYMNTS hits rewind to review just how drastically restaurant customers’ demand for restaurant loyalty programs has evolved over the past year. We surveyed a census-balanced panel of 2,238 U.S. consumers in April 2020 and then compared their answers to those provided by the 18,898 additional consumers surveyed since September 2020 to learn how each step of the ongoing crisis has impacted their behavior and what this trajectory says about what restaurants must do to stay competitive going forward.

Our research found that although more consumers than ever are using restaurant loyalty programs, there are still many who do not use them simply because they do not have access to them. Fifty-four percent of table-service restaurant customers who are not signed up for at least one loyalty program say it is because their restaurants do not offer them, as do 40 percent of quick-service restaurant (QSR) customers who are not signed up. This works out to roughly 53 million table-service restaurant customers and 30 million QSR customers whom restaurants could add to their loyalty lists if they only had one.

This untapped loyalty potential is only one part of an ongoing story about how restaurant customers’ demand for loyalty programs has evolved during the past 15 months. The newest edition of Delivering On Restaurant Rewards delves deeper into this story.

To learn more of the details about restaurant customers’ loyalty and rewards journey, download the report.

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