Restaurant Managers Must Combine Digital Ordering and Loyalty According to New Paytronix and PYMNTS Report

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Chief among the report’s findings: Restaurant brands that combine innovative digital ordering options with loyalty and rewards programs are most likely to see their average unit volume (AUV) increase. 

Paytronix Systems, Inc., the most advanced digital guest experience platform, has published the Restaurant Readiness Index, which offers deep insight into how managers at major restaurant brands are working to meet the changing needs of their guests. Chief among the report’s findings: Restaurant brands that combine innovative digital ordering options with loyalty and rewards programs are most likely to see their average unit volume (AUV) increase.

The report also notes that the continued shift toward digital commerce, in which options such as curbside or in-store pickup have become table stakes, has caused a divide between what digital-first guests want from their restaurant brands and the technology investments that managers prioritize. Many restaurant managers overestimate their customers’ interest in concepts such as self-service kiosks while overlooking the features and services that truly drive customer spend.

      Download the full report:  Restaurant Readiness Index

“These digital innovations may be critical, yet it is also crucial that restaurants do not overlook the importance of service-oriented features like loyalty and rewards programs. Many restaurants are passing over these programs as a means of boosting their customers’ spending, and this miscalculation is having a demonstrable impact on their AUVs. Restaurants looking to enhance their customers’ overall dining experience and boost their revenues would benefit from taking a two-pronged approach to enhancing customer engagement by providing both digital-first order options and the loyalty and rewards programs their customers crave.” –Paytronix and PYMNTS Restaurant Readiness Index.

Chief report findings include:

  • Sixty percent of small restaurant operators have had their revenues decline since the pandemic began.
  • More than half of restaurants that have experienced revenue increases have benefitted from a surge in mobile ordering.
  • Ninety-two percent of top performers provide mobile order-ahead options, and an equally large share also offer loyalty programs.
  • Restaurant managers underestimate their customers’ interest in loyalty programs, and they overestimate their customers’ interest in self-service kiosks.
  • Nearly four out of 10 customers would spend more if they had access to loyalty and rewards programs, yet nearly 40% of restaurants do not offer such programs.

“Restaurant managers want to create a great guest experience, and they’re making decisions that they believe will help them reach that goal. Installing something like a restaurant ordering kiosk or launching mobile ordering provides managers with instant visual feedback and immediate gratification. Loyalty programs have multiple benefits. First, they can return 10x multiples on the initial investment thanks to a greater impact on sales, and second, they come with the longer-term strategic benefit of owning your guests’ information. But these programs require the right tools in order to measure the full impact,” said Paytronix Systems CEO Andrew Robbins.

The Restaurant Readiness Index, a and Paytronix collaboration, assesses how restaurants’ customer engagement strategies have evolved since the onset of the pandemic. A census-balanced panel of 2,123 U.S. consumers and 490 restaurant operators were surveyed to identify the key digital innovations that can help restaurants deliver an improved user experience and increase revenue.

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