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Over 70 Percent Of Restaurants Lack Mobile Payment Options, Loyalty Programs

Investing in — and integrating — the two is one key to rewards success in the omnichannel era.

Restaurants that offer a mobile payment option say it has improved their business — but only 31 percent of eateries have actually implemented the technology, according to TD Bank’s International Food Service & Restaurant Show survey. Additionally, 74 percent of restaurant professionals say they do not have a loyalty program, despite feeling that it would benefit them.

These statistics indicate that many are missing out on the opportunity to serve connected customers with a diversity of payment options — and to keep them coming back with rewards.

Loyalty — And Payments — Beyond Cards

But the answer for eateries isn’t as simple as handing out punch cards: After all, overall engagement in “traditional” loyalty programs has declined steadily over the past four years — which is why the potential for investment in mobile options that the survey cited is so important. As analyst Loren Gray told GeoMarketing last year, “membership is a failure for younger people on an operational level. They don’t want reward far in the distance; immediacy is key. If they’ve visited several times, they want to see something for that – otherwise they don’t care.”

In contrast, the loyalty programs succeeding today “are designed to deeply connect with customers immediately [across devices] and drive long-term, repeat business,” Session M posited in its report titled 2017 and Beyond: A Guide to Loyalty Strategies for an Omnichannel World.

With the number of restaurants that have developed apps, it should be a no-brainer to connect a loyalty program and make the rewards truly mobile-centric: Customers don’t have to worry about losing their cards or keeping track of their punches, and at the same time, brands can look to use the resulting data to better understand their customers’ visits and purchase habits.

Integrating mobile payments here is the final step: an integrated process that can make the journey of finding a restaurant, paying for a meal, and earning points for that purchase a truly seamless mobile experience. And with a reported 47 percent of restaurant professionals planning to invest in integrated mobile payments, we may see this shift before the end of 2017.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of GeoMarketing.com. A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.