Studies Show That Consumers Value Loyalty Programs

By: Admin

March 03, 2021

Good News for the Restaurant Industry, People Are Eating Out

Whether it is takeout, delivery, or sit-down dining there is no denying that restaurants are a significant part of life. A recent study estimates that 27% of Americans order a meal at least twice a week (Pymnts 2021). With more people ordering food than ever before there is also a rise in customers using restaurant loyalty programs. As of January 2021, 47% of customers reported using such programs which was a 4% increase from September 2020.

The Key Consumer

The modern restaurant industry has become digitally focused and seen an immense rise in take-out orders. Unsurprisingly, younger people – millennials and generation z – order food the most but what may surprise you is that they also spend the most per order. So, it follows that young people are an extremely important customer group for restaurants and are a segment that must be captured.

So how do you attract them (other than your great food)? It is important to differentiate your restaurant from competitors and keep customers coming back. Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to retain customers and can encourage them to increase spending. It is important to these customers that the rewards program is easy to use no matter where they are making their purchase although customers are more likely to utilize rewards programs when ordering online than in-store.

This group is also the most likely to order via digital channels. Digital purchasing methods continue to be on the rise and something that consumers demand. Of course, this is not only due to the convenient nature of digital payments but also their inherent safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Occasional Purchaser

What about all the other customers that aren’t young people that eat out a lot? The same study mentioned earlier (Pymnts 2021) found that 21% of diners that “eat out occasionally” would spend more money on their meal if there was a loyalty or rewards program. So, it turns out that rewards programs are valued by this group of diners as well! By offering a loyalty program you may be able to convert these occasional diners to loyal patrons.


Customers consistently report that digital ordering and online payments are important restaurant features that would impact where they got take-out. Other significant influences include being able to pick up their order curbside and the ability to make purchases quickly.

Canadians love collecting all kinds of points! Restaurants are certainly not the only businesses that can benefit from offering rewards programs. A nation-wide study showed that a whopping 66% of Canadians will change where or when they shop in order to earn more points (Bond Brand Loyalty 2021

What Can Your Business Do?

POS systems like Clover make it easy to manage loyalty programs and can be easily done directly on any Clover payment terminal. Clover’s built-in customer relationship management (CRM) software is a great way to manage your loyalty programs. Easily create customer profiles with basic information and use it to customize their future experiences.

Loyalty programs can be simple yet extremely effective. Some common successful tactics are rewards for multiple purchases or remarketing efforts such as sending promo codes to customers that haven’t purchased in over a month. The Clover App Market has many programs that make it simple to administer customized rewards programs that your customers will value.

As previously mentioned, digital payment options are critical for most businesses these days. Setting up a virtual terminal/ payment gateway on your website is a must! It is not enough anymore to simply post your phone number for call-in orders and in fact this could lose you sales.

Don’t forget about contactless payments for in-store purchases! Curbside pickup is highly valued right now and there are multiple ways to accept payment. Set up an online click-and-collect feature so people can pay online before picking up their order. Or use an LTE enabled smart payment terminal, like the Clover Flex, that lets you accept contactless payments anywhere. Just remember, customers want a quick and simple payment processing experience whether it is in-store or online.


Check out more of our blog posts to learn about the payment processing industry and how to navigate it.