The latest nearby restaurants report reveals how consumer behavior has changed post-pandemic and how restaurants can evolve

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Consumer dining habits have changed significantly since the start of the pandemic. The restaurant industry was one of the industries most immediately and deeply affected, with restaurants forced to pivot when the pandemic hit to keep doors open. One of the key findings of the report is that there is no longer a single dining experience and that restaurants need to adapt to the new range of options and conveniences that consumers expect.

Read the report: The new world of consumer behavior: Restaurants 2022

Diners were interviewed across generations to uncover eating habits, preferences and loyalties. The survey results are combined with Near’s privacy-based human movement data (location data collected and compliant from mobile phones) to gain unique insight into dining habits both at the macro level and also for specific regions and geographies. This includes identifying today’s diners, where they eat, how often, and how far they are willing to travel. The report explores topics such as whether or not people are eating again, top restaurant priorities, trends to watch, loyalty programs, as well as the lifeline for countless restaurants over the past two years – take-out and delivery.

Key findings from the report include that 46% of respondents say eating outdoors is enjoyable to eat and 7% say it is essential; Meanwhile, 57% of people say takeout or delivery is nice, while just 8% say it’s essential.

The importance of loyalty programs

One of the new priorities resulting from a more digital dining experience is the increased importance of loyalty programs. The survey revealed some key findings about how different generations view loyalty:

  • Millennials and Gen Z customers are 71% more likely to participate in loyalty programs than baby boomers.
  • Younger guests also take part in about twice as many programs as those over 60.
  • Overall, 50% of respondents said they were more likely to eat at restaurants where they are in the loyalty program – it was 60% for Gen Z and Millennials.
  • The highest-ranking loyalty program in the survey was from a large coffee franchise, with a 30.2% stake, followed by a grocery and bakery chain at 29.5%, then a quick service restaurant (QSR) with a participation rate of 20.6%.

Improve the dining experience to meet expectations

There is no longer just one dining experience. The most successful restaurants of recent years are simply those that know their customers best. They know their preferences and have adapted to offer precisely what their guests want. Major restaurant brands have also leveraged highly creative and innovative approaches to building relationships with their customers, through physical and digital touchpoints.

As a result, top restaurants have been rewarded with increased customer loyalty and revenue. Key findings on consumer dining experience preferences include:

  • 72% of diners enjoy the traditional server experience, compared to only 17% for ordering by QR code and 18% for ordering at the kiosk.
  • Half of Gen Z and Millennial customers said they were more likely to eat at a restaurant if it was a delivery app, compared to just 13% of respondents over 45 .
  • 35% of respondents said they plan to dine out more often once the pandemic is over.
  • 53% plan to practice the same habit of dining out and 6% aren’t sure.

“Many restaurants and QSRs lack the data to pivot fast enough to keep up with rapidly changing consumer behaviors and the latest customer desires for a seamless customer experience,” said Anil Mathews, Founder and CEO of Near. “With the latest findings from Near’s report, restaurant decision makers have the opportunity to unlock immense value from Near’s data through its Restaurant Report with competitive insights. Restaurants must learn how to turn data into actionable insights to survive in today’s ever-changing world.

Study methodology

This survey was conducted between February 24-27, 2022 with a total of 508 respondents in United States, weighted by age, sex, income and region. Additionally, Near studied human movement data for restaurant locations in Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Chicago, Miamiand San Francisco/Oakland Between June 1, 2021May 31, 2022. Reports used included Near Pinnacle’s estimated visits, time spent, information about visitors’ places of residence and work, as well as Near’s geosocial affinity, estimated visitors, and cross-visit reports.

Download the full report here.

About Near

Near, a global SaaS leader in privacy-focused data intelligence, manages one of the world’s largest sources of intelligence about people, places and products. Near processes data from over 1.6 billion unique user IDs, in over 70 million locations in 44 countries to enable marketing and operational data managers to reach, understand and market in trust consumers and optimize their business results. With offices at Los AngelesSilicon Valley, Paris, bangalore, Singapore, sydney and Tokyo, Near serves large companies in the retail, real estate, restaurant, tourism, technology, marketing and other industries. For more information, please visit https://near.com

SOURCE Near North America, Inc.

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