Restaurants Can Leverage Personalized Offers to Win Big Spenders Back from Aggregators

Restaurants, Loyalty Programs, Big Spenders, Aggregators

Ironically, today’s restaurants looking to win over their highest spending digital customers need to offer them the opportunity to spend less. As restaurants and third-party aggregators duke it out for consumers’ digital food spending, special discounts and offers prove a valuable tool to encourage consumers to turn to one channel or the other.

In fact, restaurants’ highest spending and highest frequency customers are the most likely to seek out opportunities to apply discounts and special offers to get a better deal on their online restaurant purchases. Specifically, PYMNTS research reveals that these customers are nearly three times as likely as their low spending, low frequency counterparts to cite the availability of discounts and offers as a reason for using third-party aggregators, such as DoorDash or Uber Eats.

According to data from PYMNTS’ report “Digital Divide: Aggregators and High-Value Restaurant Customers,” created in collaboration with Paytronix, which surveyed more than 2,100 U.S. consumers, 41% of these high spending, high frequency customers cite these cost-saving measures as a motivator for turning to third parties — compared to just 15% of low spending, low frequency customers.

View the full report: Digital Divide: Aggregators and High-Value Restaurant Customers

Consumers’ tendency to turn to aggregators is bad news for restaurants, which risk losing customer loyalty to these third parties, and which often struggle to afford the cost of aggregators’ sizable commissions.

The good news for restaurants is that big spenders’ predilection towards discounts and offers cuts both ways. These high value customers are also the most likely to be motivated by cost-saving opportunities to order directly from a restaurant.

Accordingly, restaurants that can leverage their rewards programs to derive data about their loyal customers’ behaviors — and that can use these data to provide relevant, compelling offers — can drive up the portion of orders placed through their direct channels.

“We’re very focused on our marketing technology, and our CRM [customer relationship management] systems are critical to us,” Noodles & Company chief marketing officer Stacey Pool told PYMNTS in a November interview. “What’s most important to us right now is being really smart about how we go to market, being very relevant to our guests in terms of where they engage with us, and also making sure we’re putting the right offers and the right dishes in front of them through personalization.”

Related news: Restaurant Brands Can Leverage Digital-Only Items, Personalization to Gain Digital Customers

Additionally, the more restaurants can use these personalized offers to encourage frequent customers to order directly, the more data they will get about those customers — and the better they will be at targeting their discounts in the future.

Today, restaurants are racing not only against aggregators, but also against one another to access the most sophisticated CRM technology and provide consumers with the most appealing offers for their individual tastes.

“We’re really excited about how the loyalty program can be a key enabler of our digital flywheel — using this data to enable increasingly personalized, relevant experiences to our members and our customers in general,” Nicole West, vice president of digital strategy and product at Chipotle Mexican Grill, told PYMNTS in an October interview. “[We are] advancing our capabilities in terms of offering personalized engagement across digital, really putting that that data to work for an incredible user experience.”

See also: Chipotle on How Brands Can Drive Loyalty