How customer behaviour and preferences change across age and gender in pubs and restaurants

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Blog: Five ways to grow your loyalty scheme with ad-hoc rewards

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What makes people loyal to hospitality and how venues can maintain their loyalty

If you’re over 55, special offers and deals are likely to get your attention. If you’re between 18-34 it’s most likely to be the drinks menu. Zonal’s GO Technology research explains how customer behaviour and preferences change depending on age and gender.

Pub and restaurant customers are a diverse bunch, but there are some interesting patterns when you start crunching the data: different groups of people have very different expectations when it comes to the booking and dining experience.

According to Zonal’s GO Tech research, there are distinct differences between differing age groups. Older customers are much more likely to check a pub or restaurant’s website before visiting the premises, with 34% of over-55s looking for special offers and deals compared to just 26% of 18 to 34s. The pattern repeats with booking information – 44% compared to 32% – and location information, which was required by 32% of over-55s compared to 22% of 18 to 34s.

Some things are universal, however. Across every demographic, the reasons for using a restaurant’s website are ranked in the same order of importance: the menu first (88%), followed by opening times (63%), booking information (38%), offers and deals (31%) and the drinks menu (29%). If your website people aren’t making it really easy for people to get those bits of information, you might want to have a word: when it comes to the biggest frustration with restaurant websites, 44% of people across all demographics say that it’s the lack of a viewable food menu. Difficulty in using or accessing the website is second (20%), followed by lack of booking information (12%), not listing opening times (10%) and not having a viewable drinks menu (7%).

That’s not to say that there aren’t some demographic differences in that data. The drinks menu is much more important to younger consumers: 41% of 18 to 34s check the drinks menu before visiting compared to just 21% of over-55s.

Points to remember:

  • Over 55 are more interested in special offers and menus than any other age group
  • Older customers are much more likely to check a pub or restaurant’s website before visiting, so make sure all of the information they are looking for is clear and easy to find
  • Website features and frustrations are common across all demographics: lack of a menu is the biggest sin
  • Some information is more important to specific groups: older consumers want location info and younger ones are looking for a drinks menu
  • The most important thing about data is what you do with it – where you invest your valuable time, IT budget and marketing effort.

Discover more about how Zonal’s loyalty management system gives you the tools to build smart loyalty programmes that reward your most loyal customers and encourage increased spend.

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