Today's U.S. Restaurant Consumers Want To Be Rewarded For Their Loyalty

LOS ANGELES , February 26, 2014 () – For today’s U.S. restaurant consumers, it’s not just about coupons but about loyalty. Specifically, consumers want to get rewarded for their loyalty. Discounted pizzas, free birthday smoothies, 5% off their purchase for being a frequent customer--whatever the case, when consumers give business to a restaurant again and again, they want something in return beyond a “buy one Big Mac, get one for 50% off” coupon in the mail.

Enter the rewards program.

Customers today are looking today for their favorite restaurants to offer rewards programs giving special deals to their members. Loyalogy—which provides loyalty program data analysis and data mining services, online dashboard and reporting tools, loyalty program development and consulting services and workshops for companies contemplating a customer loyalty program—recently offered the following consumer data:

Nearly three-fourths of consumers (73%) report they would recommend a restaurant more to others if that restaurant offered an appealing rewards program. This figure is up from 65% in 2013.

Eighty-six percent of consumers prefer a rewards program with a clearly defined proposition in which rewards are earned based on spending or visits, rather than a program built solely on periodic, surprise free items.

Forty-three percent prefer a program offering points that convert to rewards that can be spent like cash at the restaurant.

Forty-three percent prefer a program that is based upon visits, such as a free meal after eight visits with a minimum amount spent each visit.

Fourteen percent prefer a program that offers surprise free menu items that may be used for a certain period of time, with no pre-defined criteria for receiving that free item.

Data like this shows that there’s a desire for restaurant rewards programs. If a restaurant gives, it will receive.

It might be time to start giving.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence. Email him here or follow him on Twitter here.

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