Pandemic fears continue to reshape restaurants


To start with a conclusion, PYMNTS May 2021 edition of Delivering On Restaurant Rewards, a Paytronix collaboration, notes that “the ranks of returning traditional customers are likely to increase as the U.S. population is vaccinated, but they are unlikely to abandon the digital control practices they have adopted since the start of the pandemic.”

Keeping those consumers engaged is a matter of obliging wishes “both for the dining experience and for the convenience of ordering online by proving a mix of physical and digital ordering capabilities combined with loyalty programs.” they wish.”

It sounds simple, but as we would expect in this weird time, there is more to this story.

To get these facts and information, PYMNTS researchers surveyed a census-balanced panel of more than 2,200 U.S. consumers about the rewards programs they use – and would use even more – if the experience and rewards were properly aligned. on the new all-digital.

Much is clarified by the new data, including this one: Pandemic fears continue to reshape digital control models, with 25% of “health-conscious” now resolutely digital.

Figure 1

For millions of people, on-site meals are tastier after “ the stick ”

Observing the changes in the continuum of restaurant enthusiasts, Delivering On Restaurant Rewards notes that “customers of restaurants with table service are always more likely to have made the digital shift, regardless of their main concerns related to the pandemic”, with 23% of “health concerned” by consumers ordering online from table service establishments. This figure drops to 16% for quick service restaurants (QSRs).

Researchers found that health-conscious consumers are most likely to dine in more often after inoculation: 32% say they will make more orders in person after the stick, compared with 28% of those affected by the stick. economy and 27% of the social -consumers concerned.

According to the latest study, “The fact that there are still so many health-conscious consumers considering getting vaccinated – and that vaccination alleviates health problems and makes many feel more comfortable eating.” onsite – strongly indicates that consumers’ appetite for – onsite catering will gradually return as mass vaccination deployments continue. “

figure 3

An increase in quizzical loyalty

Global health crises create bizarre side effects. For example, PYMNTS researchers continue to find puzzling links between pandemic concerns and the use of loyalty programs.

As reported in the May edition of Delivering On Restaurant Rewards, “Economy-conscious customers are most likely to use restaurant loyalty programs,” with 50 percent using loyalty from at least one restaurant. , followed by those affected by social media at 46 percent.

“Consumers whose main concerns about the pandemic are their health and that of those around them are the least likely group to use at least one loyalty program, at 41%,” according to the new data. “Customers concerned about the economy are the most likely to use restaurant loyalty programs with table service… but they are the least likely to use QSR loyalty programs, at 36%. Socially conscious consumers lead the QSR loyalty program, with 44% enrolled in at least one QSR loyalty program. “

This link between pandemic fears, digital control, and physical engagement will be worth investigating as the pandemic recedes and new consumer behaviors solidify over time.

Figure 5



About the study: A third of consumers who signed up for subscription services in the past year were just there for the free trial. In the 2021 Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, PYMNTS surveys 2,022 U.S. consumers and analyzes more than 200 subscription commerce providers to focus on the key features that turn ‘subscription curious’ into persistent subscribers and customers. long term.


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