Please enter your username or the email address associated with the account so we can help you reset your password.
Engaging customers is hard. There are more than 30 billion mobile moments happening every day in the U.S. according to research from Forrester Research, Inc. And marketers must be ready to meet customers in these moments and deliver compelling experiences that will engender loyalty. This is especially true for quick serve and fast casual restaurant (QSR) operators – whose customers are inherently on-the-go and whose business model limits the amount of in-person and online interactions with customers.
The QSR industry has experienced steady growth over the past several years but escalating costs, technology changes and growing competition are the realities facing this market. Evolving consumer attitudes, desires and technology preferences impact QSR demand, making it critical for marketers to know how to engage their customers.
How can QSR operators succeed in the age of the consumer by changing their loyalty mindset to deepen customer relationships?
An online study of 400 millennials conducted by Epsilon in June 2016 aimed to help restaurant brands better understand and attract this key demographic based on their usage and attitudes.
Key findings include:
Millennials have an appetite for QSR
Millennials are not consciously staying away from QSRs with 70% of respondents reporting visits to QSRs weekly or more. Further, 76% of respondents report the same or more frequent visits to QSR establishments than in the past.
And millennials want to be recognized for their patronage through points, discounts or surprise offers. But 47% of millennials report not belonging to any restaurant loyalty program (53% belong to 1-3 programs). There is definitely a relationship between visit frequency and loyalty program participation; for instance, millennial moms are the most likely to participate in loyalty programs while those living at home are least likely (and their QSR visit frequency follows a similar pattern).
QSR customers crave more than convenience
The ability to pre-order is the primary driver of increased visits and while 57% of respondents report that they keep coming back to fast food because “it’s fast”, those convenience drivers are hardly the only reasons for repeat visits.
Still, there are things keeping millennials away. 44% of respondents cited their perception that QSR food is unhealthy as the number one reason they refrain from dining with QSRs.
Unrelated to health, a significant number of millennials (24%) don’t visit more frequently because establishments get their order wrong.
Millennials want communications served up – but not necessarily via dedicated apps
Mobile ordering is gaining adoption with millennials. 52% of respondents reported using mobile ordering at least once with only 21% reporting they “don’t plan to” take advantage of the functionality in the future. But millennials aren’t sold on engaging with QSRs solely via mobile apps—they need to see the benefit to them. 44% of millennials “probably” or “definitely would” download a restaurant app if it would provide them some benefit while 24% “already have.”
Other communication preferences include:
Fodder for loyalty
The most familiar loyalty mechanisms resonate with millennials – they want to be rewarded for their patronage. Millenial moms are the most promotionally sensitive segment, while younger millennials (whether they live on their own or in the family home) are least swayed by offers to change their behavior.
Points per dollar is the #1 ranked loyalty mechanism for millennials, but there is more to consider and visit frequency and dining preferences are stratified by life-stage, not age.
When it comes to the types of rewards they prefer, most millennials are motivated by fairly straightforward monetary rewards, more than perks such as reserved parking, secret menus, or free entertainment downloads.
To learn more about treating your customers as individuals to drive loyalty listen to this recent webinar here.
View Original Article