When it comes to restaurants, have deal, will travel

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Nevin Barich

I never met a special restaurant food offer I didn’t like. Whether it’s two Whopper sandwiches for $6 at Burger King, 2-for-1 night at Sizzler, or a free medium drink with purchase of an Epic Burrito at Del Taco, if a restaurant offers me a chance to get more for less — even if it’s a place I’ve never been to before — save me a seat because I’ll be there.

According to a new report from Valassis Research entitled “Tempting the Dynamic Restaurant Customer,” I’m not alone. Deals are driving a growing trend both in fast food and the restaurant industry in general.

The report finds that 30% of consumers are switching their fast food and casual dining choices due to savings. About 10% say they switch based on the lowest prices.

Additionally, 34% of consumers are influenced to visit a restaurant if they receive an offer on their smartphone/mobile device when near that location, with this percentage rising among parents (57%) and millennials (54%).

“When it comes to restaurants, consumers often revisit their tried-and-true spots, but our research also finds that these individuals can be readily persuaded to visit new locations through relevant and timely offers,” said Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer for Valassis. “Restaurants can leverage flash sales, quick-turn digital media, and location-based promotions to engage and activate these audiences. Consumers are increasingly dynamic, and understanding which tactics activate specific audiences helps marketers develop more personalized offers, resulting in a greater return on ad spend.”

So what does this mean for consumers? Hopefully more deals, both from name brands that have a large base of repeat customers and smaller chains that are hoping to get noticed. Large or small, companies are targeting the same customer base, meaning we as diners are seduced by both sides with discount offers.

Additional takeaways from the study include

  • 50% of consumers prefer to dine at local restaurants versus national chains, with this number rising among parents to 59%.
  • For repeat restaurant visits, value/dollar menus and everyday low prices activate the most switchers (58%), with BOGO (buy one, get one) offers being almost equally influential (57%).
  • When spurring new restaurant visits, BOGO and new/limited-time offers reign supreme (54% each).
  • 55% of consumers prefer to receive these types of messages from direct mail sources, and 25% favor TV.
  • 43% of all consumers utilize mail and TV sources to learn about new restaurants.
  • 50% of millennials check the TV, and 36% use mobile and online sources.

  • Have you been tempted by a restaurant deal? Tell us about it in the comments!

    "When it comes to restaurants, have deal, will travel" originally published on The Menuism Dining Blog.