Restaurant mobile order ahead, curbside pickup and delivery services aren't going anywhere once the COVID-19 pandemic ends as 92% of vaccinated dining customers plans to keep ordering online. Just 8% plan to return to dining in a restaurant, according to a Paytronix Systems Inc. report, "Delivering on Restaurant Rewards."
Paytronix examined February and March sales as vaccinated consumers began returning to on-premise dining and found that online sales increased along with in-store sales, according to a press release on the report. In-store sales grew by 13% and online sales grew about 3% between the first week of February and last week in March.
"Digital ordering is now a key part of the customer experience and that means restaurants need to make it a priority within their own operations," Andrew Robbins, Paytronix Systems CEO, said in the release. "Customers will continue to expect a complete digital experience in addition to an on-premises experience, not as a replacement. The challenge for restaurant brands going forward will be how to offer a consistent and personalized experience, no matter how the customer chooses to interact."
Key findings include:
Convenience matters as 32% of vaccinated restaurant customers would spend more on their orders if they could pay online; 40% of vaccinated restaurant customers would spend more if they could earn loyalty and rewards for their orders.
There is an inexplicable link between vaccination and loyalty program usage. Vaccinated consumers' inclination to engage with loyalty and rewards programs is highest among younger demographics, including bridge millennials, millennials and Generation Z consumers.
Restaurant loyalty programs need to be accessible both online and offline to meet their customers' payment needs as more consumers migrate back to brick-and-mortar establishments.
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