Although overall use of coupons has been down since 2009, consumer use and redemption of restaurant coupons is up.
Usage is up five percentage points to about a third of U.S. adults, according to Packaged Facts. Restaurant coupons are boosted by instant, digital and online/app point-of-sales use through newer delivery services. This is on top of longstanding restaurant coupon use for fast-food pizza chains or other fast food chains—including for drive-through.
Digital services helped diversify the range of eating establishments and the range of consumers who benefit from restaurant coupons. For example, affluent shoppers are more likely than their non-affluent counterparts to use restaurants or takeout/delivery more than they did a few years ago and are more likely to have used a restaurant meal delivery service such as Grubhub or Uber Eats. Correspondingly, adults with a household income over $150,000 are about 11% more likely than average to utilize restaurant coupons.
Meanwhile, consumers are more likely to dine out if a restaurant uses incentive-based marketing strategies such as coupons, according to Valassis. Coupon users visit restaurants seven times per month on average compared to non-coupon users who do so just 4.8 times per month. Overall, 77% of consumers say they use coupons at restaurants.
“Consumers’ desire for savings is strong across purchase categories and the restaurant market is no exception,” said Dana Baggett, executive director-restaurant, Valassis. “Marketers who expand outside of traditional value-oriented consumers and tap into other demographics via proximity-based advertising strategies, competitive pricing and offers will attract diners and drive consumer spend.”
Despite the fact that 54% of diners usually visit the same eatery, the research found 20% of consumers will switch restaurants based on promotions or coupons, with 12% doing so in order to find the lowest price.
Even when deciding between several restaurants they like, 54% will pick the one that offers a coupon, with this number rising to over 60% among weekly dining visitors. Fifty-seven percent use coupons for a location they have never visited, with this number peaking for fast-casual, family and fine dining restaurants.
Forty-one percent of diners want to receive coupons at least once per week. Millennials have an even stronger preference, with 54% favoring weekly distributions, as well as parents, with 49% desiring at least a coupon a week.
As for how they prefer to receive deals, it changes based on the type of restaurant and consumers. However, in general, Valassis found an affinity for both print and digital channels.