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The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 11, 2016 • Issue 16:07:01


Restaurant patronage on the rise

According to U.S. Department of Commerce data, since March 2015, Americans have spent more on dining out than buying groceries. To help guide customer decisions on dining out, restaurants are stepping up their game to deliver mobile-centric customer engagement strategies in order to attract loyal patrons.

A June 2016 Excentus Corp. Fuel Rewards report titled A Recipe for Restaurant Loyalty Success: Embedding Mobile and Relevant Rewards into the Dining-Out Experience highlights the critical role mobile devices are playing in transforming the restaurant industry.

"Smartphones have fundamentally changed how diners interact with restaurants and brands," said Megan Flynn, author of the report and Executive Vice President of Program Development, Brand and Communications at Excentus. "The mobile channel now impacts nearly every aspect of restaurant operations and investment."

Below is a compilation of industry research and data culled from the report.

Restaurant industry snapshot:

  • In Q1 2016, Americans spent $158 million on restaurants and dining out versus $152 million spent on groceries in the same period. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)
  • In 2015, the United States had more than 1 million restaurant locations that collectively generated $782.7 billion in sales. (Source: National Restaurant Association)
  • In 2015, the restaurant industry added nearly 10,000 new locations nationwide; California led all states opening over 2,000 new locations. (Source: NRA)
  • In 2016, the U.S. restaurant industry is expected to generate $783 billion in sales revenue. (Source: NRA)

Restaurant loyalty program findings:

  • From 2012 to 2014, membership in restaurant loyalty programs grew to 54 million members nationwide. (Source: Colloquy)
  • Even with recent surges in loyalty program participation, 58 percent of new members do not remain engaged in loyalty programs joined. (Source: Colloquy)
  • Restaurant loyalty programs that are able to create repeat customers can drive 60 percent or more of restaurant sales. (Source: NRA)

Restaurant patron mobile habits:

  • 83 percent of U.S. restaurant patrons use smartphones to look up restaurant hours, locations or directions. (Source: NRA)
  • 75 percent of mobile users view menus on smartphones. (Source: NRA)
  • 55 percent of mobile users read online reviews on smartphones. (Source: NRA)
  • 51 percent of mobile users order food from mobile apps. (Source: NRA)
  • 50 percent of mobile users redeem rewards or deals from smartphones. (Source: NRA)
  • 32 percent of mobile patrons pay restaurant tabs using smartphones. (Source: NRA)
end of article

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