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National Restaurant Association Report: Key Insights for Growth

National Restaurant Association Report: Key Insights for Growth

TLDR

With the National Restaurant Association predicting sales to surpass 1.1 million this year, restaurants must adapt to the preferences of today's young consumers. Takeout demand is at an all-time high, especially among millennials and Gen Z, who prioritize seamless ordering and quick payment options. Offering a user-friendly loyalty program and convenient pickup options can help restaurants capture this market. Investing in mobile ordering technology, like solutions provided by builders such as Per Diem, can enhance your competitiveness in this growing market.

National Restaurant Association Report Highlights Industry Growth Trends

Adopt Mobile Ordering and Payment Technology

To cater to tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Z, invest in mobile ordering and payment solutions. According to the NRA report, 70% of consumers prefer using loyalty programs through mobile apps, and 52% say mobile ordering is essential. Solutions like Per Diem offer white-label apps for takeout, delivery, and pre-ordering. With pre-ordering, customers order and pay ahead, then pick up at their convenience, allowing for a quick turnaround. Mobile pay also reduces wait times.

Focus on Off-Premise Dining Options

Off-premise dining like takeout, drive-thru, delivery, and curbside pickup has skyrocketed, especially during COVID-19. The off-premise orders grew by over 90% during the pandemic and will remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. To capture this demand, ensure your restaurant’s menu and operations suit popular off-premise channels. Drive-thrus and curbside pickup allow customers to remain in their vehicles, while takeout and delivery maximize convenience.

Provide Value Through Loyalty and Discounts

Seven in 10 consumers seek daily specials and discounts, so loyalty programs that offer exclusive deals and rewards are essential. Mobile apps are ideal for loyalty programs as customers can earn and redeem points, get personalized offers, and pre-order—all on their own devices. Loyalty programs increase visit frequency and spending, so the investment in the right app pays off.

Invest in Technology and Staff

With the rise of off-premise and online ordering, technology and staffing should be the top priorities. Digital menus, online ordering platforms, payment processing, and more require tech investment. Additional staff will be needed to fulfill off-premise orders. The report predicts the industry will add 15.7 million jobs by 2024 to meet demand. By investing in technology and staff, restaurants can provide the seamless experiences customers crave.

Adopting Technology to Meet Changing Consumer Preferences

To stay ahead of the competition and meet the needs of today's on-the-go consumers, restaurants must invest in modern technology. According to the NRA report, 67% of millennials and 63% of Gen Z adults view takeout as essential to their lifestyle. They want fast, seamless ordering and payment options.

Mobile Apps and Loyalty Programs

Restaurants should develop a mobile app that offers online ordering, payment, and integrated loyalty programs. Apps that provide pre-order and delivery options are ideal. Loyalty programs within the app, offering exclusive discounts and rewards, encourage repeat customers and higher spending.

Leverage Multiple Ordering Channels

While mobile apps are important, restaurants must offer ordering through multiple channels to capture all potential customers. In addition to apps and in-store ordering, restaurants should provide options like delivery, drive-thru, carryout, and curbside pickup.

Embrace New Technologies

To succeed, restaurants must embrace technologies that improve the customer experience, from mobile apps and loyalty programs to digital menu boards, kiosks, and wearable tech for staff. Digital menu boards allow restaurants to highlight daily specials, promotions, and impulse items to increase average tickets. Self-service kiosks give customers more control over the ordering process and reduce wait times. Wearable tech helps staff work more efficiently.

By leveraging mobile technology, multiple ordering channels, and emerging technologies, restaurants can meet the needs of modern consumers and gain a competitive advantage. While an initial investment may be required, the long-term benefits to the customer experience and bottom line are well worth it. The future of the restaurant industry is digital, and operators must get on board or get left behind.

Implementing Loyalty Programs and Mobile Ordering for Future Success

Adopt a Customer Loyalty Program

To increase customer retention, implement a loyalty program that offers incentives for repeat customers. A loyalty program should offer daily specials, discounts and rewards that provide value beyond what is offered to non-members. For example, a rewards program could provide a discount on every 4th visit or a free appetizer after a certain number of visits. Market the loyalty program through social media, email marketing and within your restaurant to encourage signup.

Enable Mobile Ordering

Mobile ordering technology offers convenience and efficiency that appeals to tech-savvy younger consumers. An ordering app allows customers to place and pay for an order remotely, minimizing wait times. It also provides an opportunity to integrate your loyalty program by allowing customers to access special offers and track reward points through the app. Consider a white-label mobile ordering system, such as Per Diem, that can be customized with your restaurant’s branding. Promote your mobile ordering app through your website, social media, and within your restaurant.

Start a Referral Program

Implement a referral program where current customers can refer their friends and earn rewards in return. A well-designed referral program can help increase your reach, expand your customer base, and build customer loyalty. Customers who refer their friends and family are more loyal and likely to continue using your services. Make sure to communicate the benefits of the referral program to customers and incentivize them with rewards like discounts, coupons, or loyalty points. Track referrals through your mobile app and reward customers promptly to encourage ongoing referrals.

Per Diem allows merchants to create a referral program like Robinhood's. Contact the team to learn how to add this feature.

Technology and customer experience will shape the restaurant industry’s future success. Implementing initiatives like loyalty programs, mobile ordering, and multiple ordering platforms will position your restaurant to meet the demands of younger, tech-savvy consumers and achieve sustainable growth. Focusing on customer retention and convenience through technology and experience will be key to gaining a competitive advantage in a crowded market.

Final Thoughts

In closing, to seize the opportunities of a booming takeout and delivery market, restaurateurs must cater to the preferences of millennials and Gen Z. Offer loyalty programs with mobile apps that facilitate easy ordering, discounts, and seamless payment. Prioritize investments in mobile tech that enable online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery. Partner with the right service providers to quickly implement solutions. With the right mix of convenience, value, and technology, restaurants can thrive amidst the on-demand dining trends of younger generations. The potential rewards of becoming an essential part of their lifestyle are well worth the effort.

TLDR

With the National Restaurant Association predicting sales to surpass 1.1 million this year, restaurants must adapt to the preferences of today's young consumers. Takeout demand is at an all-time high, especially among millennials and Gen Z, who prioritize seamless ordering and quick payment options. Offering a user-friendly loyalty program and convenient pickup options can help restaurants capture this market. Investing in mobile ordering technology, like solutions provided by builders such as Per Diem, can enhance your competitiveness in this growing market.

National Restaurant Association Report Highlights Industry Growth Trends

Adopt Mobile Ordering and Payment Technology

To cater to tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Z, invest in mobile ordering and payment solutions. According to the NRA report, 70% of consumers prefer using loyalty programs through mobile apps, and 52% say mobile ordering is essential. Solutions like Per Diem offer white-label apps for takeout, delivery, and pre-ordering. With pre-ordering, customers order and pay ahead, then pick up at their convenience, allowing for a quick turnaround. Mobile pay also reduces wait times.

Focus on Off-Premise Dining Options

Off-premise dining like takeout, drive-thru, delivery, and curbside pickup has skyrocketed, especially during COVID-19. The off-premise orders grew by over 90% during the pandemic and will remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. To capture this demand, ensure your restaurant’s menu and operations suit popular off-premise channels. Drive-thrus and curbside pickup allow customers to remain in their vehicles, while takeout and delivery maximize convenience.

Provide Value Through Loyalty and Discounts

Seven in 10 consumers seek daily specials and discounts, so loyalty programs that offer exclusive deals and rewards are essential. Mobile apps are ideal for loyalty programs as customers can earn and redeem points, get personalized offers, and pre-order—all on their own devices. Loyalty programs increase visit frequency and spending, so the investment in the right app pays off.

Invest in Technology and Staff

With the rise of off-premise and online ordering, technology and staffing should be the top priorities. Digital menus, online ordering platforms, payment processing, and more require tech investment. Additional staff will be needed to fulfill off-premise orders. The report predicts the industry will add 15.7 million jobs by 2024 to meet demand. By investing in technology and staff, restaurants can provide the seamless experiences customers crave.

Adopting Technology to Meet Changing Consumer Preferences

To stay ahead of the competition and meet the needs of today's on-the-go consumers, restaurants must invest in modern technology. According to the NRA report, 67% of millennials and 63% of Gen Z adults view takeout as essential to their lifestyle. They want fast, seamless ordering and payment options.

Mobile Apps and Loyalty Programs

Restaurants should develop a mobile app that offers online ordering, payment, and integrated loyalty programs. Apps that provide pre-order and delivery options are ideal. Loyalty programs within the app, offering exclusive discounts and rewards, encourage repeat customers and higher spending.

Leverage Multiple Ordering Channels

While mobile apps are important, restaurants must offer ordering through multiple channels to capture all potential customers. In addition to apps and in-store ordering, restaurants should provide options like delivery, drive-thru, carryout, and curbside pickup.

Embrace New Technologies

To succeed, restaurants must embrace technologies that improve the customer experience, from mobile apps and loyalty programs to digital menu boards, kiosks, and wearable tech for staff. Digital menu boards allow restaurants to highlight daily specials, promotions, and impulse items to increase average tickets. Self-service kiosks give customers more control over the ordering process and reduce wait times. Wearable tech helps staff work more efficiently.

By leveraging mobile technology, multiple ordering channels, and emerging technologies, restaurants can meet the needs of modern consumers and gain a competitive advantage. While an initial investment may be required, the long-term benefits to the customer experience and bottom line are well worth it. The future of the restaurant industry is digital, and operators must get on board or get left behind.

Implementing Loyalty Programs and Mobile Ordering for Future Success

Adopt a Customer Loyalty Program

To increase customer retention, implement a loyalty program that offers incentives for repeat customers. A loyalty program should offer daily specials, discounts and rewards that provide value beyond what is offered to non-members. For example, a rewards program could provide a discount on every 4th visit or a free appetizer after a certain number of visits. Market the loyalty program through social media, email marketing and within your restaurant to encourage signup.

Enable Mobile Ordering

Mobile ordering technology offers convenience and efficiency that appeals to tech-savvy younger consumers. An ordering app allows customers to place and pay for an order remotely, minimizing wait times. It also provides an opportunity to integrate your loyalty program by allowing customers to access special offers and track reward points through the app. Consider a white-label mobile ordering system, such as Per Diem, that can be customized with your restaurant’s branding. Promote your mobile ordering app through your website, social media, and within your restaurant.

Start a Referral Program

Implement a referral program where current customers can refer their friends and earn rewards in return. A well-designed referral program can help increase your reach, expand your customer base, and build customer loyalty. Customers who refer their friends and family are more loyal and likely to continue using your services. Make sure to communicate the benefits of the referral program to customers and incentivize them with rewards like discounts, coupons, or loyalty points. Track referrals through your mobile app and reward customers promptly to encourage ongoing referrals.

Per Diem allows merchants to create a referral program like Robinhood's. Contact the team to learn how to add this feature.

Technology and customer experience will shape the restaurant industry’s future success. Implementing initiatives like loyalty programs, mobile ordering, and multiple ordering platforms will position your restaurant to meet the demands of younger, tech-savvy consumers and achieve sustainable growth. Focusing on customer retention and convenience through technology and experience will be key to gaining a competitive advantage in a crowded market.

Final Thoughts

In closing, to seize the opportunities of a booming takeout and delivery market, restaurateurs must cater to the preferences of millennials and Gen Z. Offer loyalty programs with mobile apps that facilitate easy ordering, discounts, and seamless payment. Prioritize investments in mobile tech that enable online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery. Partner with the right service providers to quickly implement solutions. With the right mix of convenience, value, and technology, restaurants can thrive amidst the on-demand dining trends of younger generations. The potential rewards of becoming an essential part of their lifestyle are well worth the effort.

Doron Segal
Doron Segal

Hey I'm Doron, the co-founder & CTO of Per Diem — a mobile app platform for restaurants. I'm also a dad and a husband. I love to travel and meet new people.I love creating things, and see people using the stuff I built.Prior to Per Diem I worked at Saildrone, OpenTable, Apple, Beats Music, Siemens.

Tomer Molovinsky
Tomer Molovinsky

A second time founder with a passion for building products at the intersection of hospitality and technology. I've had the pleasure of launching reservation systems, mobile payment solutions, and loyalty programs at OpenTable and Resy, and witnessed how operators were losing a direct connection with their customers online. We built Per Diem to strengthen the relationships that businesses have with those customers, and to ensure that local businesses can thrive in today's economy.

Ashley Rodriguez
Ashley Rodriguez

Ashley is a freelance writer and podcast producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She hosts a podcast called Boss Barista and writes an accompanying newsletter with full transcripts of each episode and articles about coffee and restaurant work. You can check out her work here (ashleyrodriguez.work/).

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