Restaurant loyalty is the lever everyone needs to think about pulling as we head into 2024. The new Loyalty Report 2023 by Paytronix focuses on guest engagement maturing and provides crucial insight for the upcoming year and beyond.
Loyalty programmes, born out of simple passion, have evolved into powerful tools for building deep and mature relationships with customers. In the early days, if you loved a product and showed loyalty by making frequent purchases, you were rewarded. Fast forward to today, and loyalty programmes have transformed into what Paytronix calls “digital guest engagement.”
The landscape of loyalty programmes is diverse, adapting to various business segments. Whether it’s convenience stores, quick-service restaurants (QSRs), or full-service restaurants (FSRs), each has its own unique set of loyal members. These differences extend to generations, visit frequencies, preferred day parts, and even the ways in which rewards are redeemed.
Despite these distinctions, there are surprising similarities among loyalty members. They tend to stick to ordering either online or in person, rarely opting for both. The success of restaurant programmes is mirrored in the value convenience store programmes bring to both brands and customers.
At Paytronix, our focus is on data and insights that drive superior guest engagement through loyalty. The report draws from our extensive database of hospitality data, presenting actionable insights to enhance loyalty marketing and deliver more mature guest engagement.
This report takes a comprehensive approach, breaking down loyalty programmes from various angles to provide the fullest view. One consistent theme emerges—guests’ relationships with loyalty programmes are deepening year by year. This growth is especially pronounced as brands innovate new and surprising ways to engage with their customers.
Post-pandemic, there’s been a seismic shift in how guests perceive loyalty. In a world shaped by technology and grappling with rising inflation, the promise of better engagement and enhanced value from favorite brands became irresistible. Over the last two years, loyalty programmes have witnessed unprecedented popularity, reaching an all-time high in membership, with a notable surge in QSR loyalty members.
Crucially, loyalty programme members consistently display a significant check size difference compared to non-loyalty members. This pattern has held true since the inception of the report and continues to be relevant. The focus on the top 10% of loyalty members remains, and for good reason—they contribute significantly, constituting around half of all loyalty member visits and spending. This elite segment is not only more valuable than the average loyalty member but far more valuable than the average guest.
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Key insights from the report include:
The total number of active loyalty members increased steadily between January 2021 and June 2023, with FSRs seeing a 16% increase, c-stores a 19% increase, and QSRs a remarkable 24% increase.
In 2022, QSR and FSR active loyalty members enjoyed 5%+ increases in check size compared to non-loyalty members, while convenience store loyalty members experienced a substantial 12% increase in check size.
The top 10% of active loyalty members play a pivotal role, accounting for nearly half of all loyalty visits across concepts.
As the loyalty landscape continues to evolve, these insights provide a roadmap for brands to navigate the complex realm of loyalty programmes, fostering deeper connections with their customers and reaping the rewards of a loyal customer base.