Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Digital Dinning Dollars Drive Foodservice Customer Adoption


With the price of everything going up particularly food, meals, dinning out customers are trying to figure out how to save money.  Gen Z and Millennials starting to payback college loans, pay for housing, or starting a family are looking first for digital dollar savings. 

According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® digital coupons, messaging, and hand-held marketing are front and center for both Gen Z and Millennials.  

Once again let’s back this up with some outside fasts, according to a new report from Circana,” customer visits to restaurants and retail foodservice outlets who took advantage of a deal rose by 8 percent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to a year ago,.

Lingering inflation and higher food prices may have motivated foodservice consumers to look for better deals. The subsequent increase helped to grow total commercial foodservice visits by 1 percent over a year ago, a traffic gain after four consecutive quarters of flat or declining growth.  


"Last year, deal traffic was flat as rising costs deterred operators from offering deals, and the deals offered weren’t [valuable] from a consumer perspective," said David Portalatin, Circana food industry advisor. "Although inflation is now moderating, food prices are up seven percent from a year ago, and consumers are looking for deals that will offset higher prices. Operators are using deals to drive more traffic."

Although 73 percent of all foodservice visits are not on a deal, those visits were flat in the same quarter. Buy some, get some and coupon deals were among the most popular deal types, growing 13 percent and 18 percent, respectively, while discounted price deals increased by 8 percent and daily specials by 6 percent. Combined item specials declined.  

Eighty-four percent of these deals were used at quick service restaurants (QSRs), corresponding with the fact that QSR visits represent most of the total foodservice traffic. Overall QSR visits increased by 2 percent over last year, while full-service restaurant traffic declined by 1 percent in the period. However, visits on a deal were up by 4 percent, reported Circana.

Loyalty programs were also a source of deals traffic during the quarter. Loyalty rewards and points redeemed at restaurants during the first quarter increased by 26 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Breakfast and morning snack periods appeared to be the most popular dayparts for loyalty points and reward redemption, which aligns with earlier findings that the segment has fully recovered from pandemic losses. “

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 

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