If you’re reading this, we’re willing to bet that you already actively use UberEats, Grubhub, or Doordash. If you are, we don’t blame you. The benefits are seemingly hard to dismiss. An extra branch for marketing, business in new markets, and adapting with the coronavirus trend of increased delivery are all ideal.
At ChowEasy, we advocate the best for local restaurants and so we’re not going to tell restaurants to put 3rd party delivery services at a complete halt.
We do strongly urge restaurants however, to not get too comfortable with 3rd party delivery. The truth is, relying too much on 3rd party delivery services can leave restaurants with razor-thin margins in the long run. By taking action in the present moment by focusing on dine-in customers, restaurants will prevent 3rd-party delivery services from taking too much power.
Even though delivery services are popular, dine-in is also booming for unique reasons and will only continue to grow. In fact, 62% of Americans still prefer to dine-in over both delivery and takeout. Before we mention why restaurants should focus on dine-in customers, we’ll outline the reasons why dine-in is growing in demand.
Why Dining in Restaurants is Still King
It’s about the experience
Remember the explosion of foodies a few years ago? Facebook and Instagram feeds are still being flooded with pictures of food. New instagram pages dedicated to touring local restaurants are still popping up in 2020 with thousand of likes and followings. This only points to the fact that foodie ‘culture’ is ever so strong. People love immersing themselves in a cool environment and taking aesthetic photos to compliment their social media feeds. Even if you roll your eyes at the whole foodie phenomenon, catering to this culture is a wise move.
People buy things they don’t need to impress others so the saying goes. Everything from apparel brands to coffee brands, one sure emotion that gets people to buy is how it will make them perceived by others.
Eating out at restaurants also engages this emotion. Being a ‘cultured’ adventurous person who supports local restaurants provides a huge boost to one’s social status. It helps create the perception of someone who has great tastes, has disposable income, and who is empathetic toward hard working people in their local community.
Convenience is Improving
In a time where everyone expects things quickly, 3rd party delivery services are not the only solution available.
So much restaurant technology has been developed over the years to provide a more convenient experience. Long enduring lines have significantly been cut short thanks to automation.
Kiosks and handheld POS devices allow people to quickly order with little to no hassle. In fact, automation has just begun. There’s so much more restaurant technology being developed from robot servers to on demand service with a push of a button. Read more on some new restaurant technology coming out in our blog post “New Restaurant Technology Trends to Look Out For.”
The Socially Distanced Are Restless
No one anticipated social distancing to carry on toward the end of 2020. At this point, people are restless and dying to be around people again. The perfect place to go out and socialize? Restaurants. Even though delivery services have increased during this time, there is a special demand for an experience that is exclusively offered at restaurants.
Conscious Consumers Are Boycotting 3rd Party Delivery
Yup you heard it right. There is an increasing movement of people who demonize 3rd party deliveries for draining local restaurants of their revenue. They see delivery companies taking control of the restaurant industry to a point where restaurants have no choice to bow down to their terms.
Regardless of whether this is something to agree upon or not, the intentions are good. They visit their local restaurants to show direct support and urge others to do the same on social media. An example of this is shown in the picture above. More on this topic can be read from this Washington Post article.
Why Should Restaurants Focus On Dine-In Customers?
More Profitable Demographics
As we’ve been talking about the reasons why people prefer to dine-out it may be clear that these dine-customers are more likely to be profitable. Foodie culture will not die out and avid restaurant-goers are more likely to become loyal repeat customers. It can be assumed that people who love to dine out actively do so, so why not focus on marketing the demographic that will bring you continued business?
Since 62% of Americans prefer to dine in, takeout and delivery makes up 34% of the population. According to a Zion & Zion study, the demographic most likely to use delivery apps are younger people who earn a lower income. On top of this, many of them likely prefer to stay indoors, show high activity on Netflix, and are active gamers.
Diners Know that Restaurants Offer Promos
According to the National Restaurant Association 2020 Industry Factbook, “48% of consumers say that availability of discounts for dining would make them choose one restaurant over another.”
In a study by Dr. Paul J. Zak, professor of neuroeconomics at Claremont Graduate University, neurologic effects of promotions were tested. The people who were given promotions showed a spike in oxytocin. All benefits shown include:
- 38% increase in oxytocin
- 32% decrease in respiration
- 11% increase in overall happiness
- 5% increase in heart rate
Avid restaurant-goers are aware that restaurants have promos like weekly discounts and loyalty programs. The power of promos should not be underestimated.
The ChowEasy app helps restaurants get new dine-in customers by allowing restaurants to set up their own promos. ChowEasy then markets these promos to local foodies who live to discover and support new local restaurants. By getting new locals into restaurants, restaurants then have the opportunity to build a loyal relationship for repeat business. On top of it all, there are no set up fees or hidden costs. Learn more here.
Finally, a big benefit to getting dine-in customers is free marketing! Foodies, love them or hate them, spread word about your restaurant on social media for everyone to see. Any picture they take of your special signature dish or cool atmosphere will end up in front of a fresh new pair of eyes.
Looking for a fun way to grow your restaurant business? ChowEasy is a restaurant marketing app dedicated to helping you get new, quality customers in your local area. Attract passionate foodies with promos that run on your schedule and on your terms with your restaurant name revealed only to committed diners. No upfront costs or commitments! Learn more now.