The restaurant subscription, an often overlooked customer engagement tool, gained popularity during the early days of the health crisis and now serves as a catalyst for a new level of loyalty among frequent diners. New research from PYMNTS shows that consumers who choose the convenience of a restaurant subscription tend to be among the most engaged restaurant patrons, dining more frequently and eagerly participating in loyalty programs. Restaurant subscribers’ loyalty to their favorite restaurants isn’t exclusively based on their love of a tasty meal, either.
We found that a range of customer experience features, like a user-friendly website, are recognized and valued much more often by restaurant subscribers than non-subscribers. One reason may be that restaurant subscribers dine more frequently than non-subscribers: They represent a larger share of table service restaurants’ and quick-service restaurants’ most frequent diners — those dining at a restaurant three times per week or more. Subscribers are not just regular diners — they are often devoted fans of their favorite restaurant and tend to prioritize user experience details others may overlook.
In Digital Divide: Restaurant Subscribers And Loyalty Programs, a PYMNTS and Paytronix collaboration, we reveal findings from a survey of 2,054 United States consumers carried out between Dec. 22, 2021, and Dec. 29, 2021. Respondents were asked about their dining preferences, engagement with loyalty programs and feelings of loyalty to the restaurants where they dine.
Other findings include:
Restaurant subscribers are more likely than other groups to consider factors other than food taste and familiarity as important when selecting a restaurant. Just 49% of restaurant subscribers said tasty food was important to their choice of a quick-service restaurant (QSR), compared with 70% of non-subscribers.
Eighty percent of table service restaurant subscribers state that they are very or extremely loyal to their favorite restaurant. This compares with 59% of all survey respondents who say that they are “very” or “extremely” loyal to the restaurants where they dine.
Restaurant subscribers see access to loyalty programs as important when they choose a restaurant. The availability of a loyalty program was a “very” or “extremely” important factor in the choice of quick-service or table-service restaurants for 58% of subscribers.
A higher share of restaurant subscribers are young and more affluent than non-subscribers. Subscribers are more likely to be millennials (39%), bridge millennials (31%), have a college degree (24%) or earn more than $100,000 per year (21%) than non-subscribers.
To learn more about restaurant subscribers’ preferences, download the report.