DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With American consumers spending more on dining out than groceries, and increasingly relying on smartphones to guide their dining decisions, restaurants must create mobile-centric dining experiences and offer rewards that will deepen engagement with diners, according to a new Fuel Rewards® program report on restaurant loyalty trends.
"A Recipe for Restaurant Loyalty Success: Embedding Mobile and Relevant Rewards into the Dining-Out Experience" explains why restaurant operators should build mobile-centric customer engagement strategies into their operations, and employ third-party loyalty partners to deploy and manage mobile-friendly rewards programs as well as the applications that power them. The report also examines the advantage of card-linking by diners, incorporating loyalty activities directly into everyday purchase transactions.
"Smartphones have fundamentally changed how diners interact with restaurants and brands. The mobile channel now impacts nearly every aspect of restaurant operations and investment," says Megan Flynn, author of the report and Executive Vice President of Program Development, Brand and Communications at Excentus, operators of the Fuel Rewards® program. "Financial success in the form of increased business and strengthened loyalty from new and existing customers will be largely dictated by a restaurant’s ability to satisfy diners with what they want – engaging mobile dining experiences and mobile-friendly rewards that deliver value seamlessly."
According to the National Restaurant Association, U.S. consumers regularly use smartphones to look up restaurant hours, locations or directions (83%), view menus (75%), read online reviews (55%), order from a mobile app (51%), redeem rewards or deals (50%) and pay the bill (32%). In addition, data from the U.S. Department of Commerce indicates that Americans spent $158 million on restaurants and dining out in the first quarter of 2016, outdoing $152 million spent on groceries in the same period. To help restaurant operators capitalize on these massive behavioral shifts, the report outlines why restaurateurs should create mobile-centric dining experiences, and:
- Offer rewards that are valuable and relevant to today's diners' lifestyles and preferences
- Partner with experienced, third-party loyalty program vendors who can handle logistics, including mobile-friendly rewards and mobile apps -- freeing restaurateurs to focus on good food and good service
- Consider rewards programs where patrons can link payment cards to build loyalty directly into diners' purchases and smartphone activities.
The Dallas-based Fuel Rewards® program's seven million members earn fuel savings on everyday purchases at their favorite restaurants and merchants nationwide. The program's merchant network includes more than 11,000 restaurants and bars, as well as grocers, online merchants and other retailers.
"When experts, mobile technology and rewards that diners value are the key components of their loyalty programs, restaurant operators can focus on delivering consistently great food and great service while the loyalty program works just as hard to bring more customers through the door," Flynn says.
The report, which is available for download here, was developed using Excentus survey data, current restaurant industry data, and interviews with the program's restaurant loyalty experts.
For more information on “A Recipe for Restaurant Loyalty Success” or to arrange an interview with Megan Flynn, please contact Vanessa Horwell at firstname.lastname@example.org (305.749.5342, x232) or Patricia Nunez at email@example.com (305.749.5342, x233).
About the Fuel Rewards program, owned and operated by Excentus
At Excentus, we create programs that help lower the cost of everyday life. Whether through direct-to-consumer programs like the Fuel Rewards® and fuelperks! programs, or through companies utilizing our Centego products and services, Excentus’ proprietary software engine helps numerous loyalty and marketing programs drive down the cost of everyday commodities like gasoline. In fact, since 2012, Excentus has helped consumers and small businesses across America save over $600 million at the pump. Creating real savings that positively affect the everyday lives of real people – that’s what Excentus is all about. Founded in 1996 in Dallas, TX, Excentus is a privately held company with more than 200 employees. For more information visit www.excentus.com.