Budget-Minded Diners Choose QSRs With Loyalty Programs

Some say they’d pay more for food to get extra rewards.

July 08, 2021

Chipotle Reward App

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—QSR loyalty programs are seeing an uptick in interest among value-conscious consumers who want to manage their food budgets, reports PYMNTS.com. In a new survey, 34% of consumers expressed concern about their finances in comparison to their outlook before the pandemic.

PYMNTS surveyed 2,467 U.S. consumers between May 1 and May 3, 2021, to gauge their financial outlook pre and post pandemic.

Researchers found that consumers who don’t feel as confident in their financial situation and have a dim outlook of things improving any time soon are more likely to be interested in restaurant loyalty programs than other consumers. Among this group, nearly half belong to at least one restaurant’s loyalty program, compared with 42% of consumers who say that their finances have remained largely stable.

Thirty-six percent of consumers surveyed who said they are on shakier financial footing said they’d pay more for food orders if they also could earn rewards. This was also the case with 39% of customers surveyed who said their finances have been challenging since before March 2020. This indicates how much value consumers believe restaurant loyalty programs can provide, according to the “Delivering On Restaurant Rewards” report.

For convenience retailers, the study points to the importance of loyalty programs in helping budget-minded consumers stretch their food dollars. Recently, Wawa, Enmarket and Dash-In all added new digital tools to their platforms to enhance customer experiences and rewards.

For more information on the power of loyalty programs, listen to Episode No. 288 of the Convenience Matters podcast, and read more in “Just Rewards” in NACS Magazine.