Ninety-two percent of restaurant customers who are fully vaccinated plan to continue digital ordering at least as often as they do now, according to new research from Paytronix and PYMNTS.
Conversely, just eight per cent plan to return to dine-in as they did prior to the pandemic.
Thirty-two percent of independent, full-service restaurant customers who are “very” or “extremely” likely to get vaccinated plan to dine on-premise more often after they are vaccinated, compared to 41 per cent of chain full-service restaurant customers.
The research also found an “inexplicable” link between vaccination and higher loyalty program usage, noting that 57 per cent of vaccinated consumers use loyalty programs compared to 42 per cent of unvaccinated consumers. Possible reasonisn could include the fact that immunized diners are spending more on food orders, are more aware of loyalty programs, or because “the demographic groups who use loyalty programs are more likely to be vaccinated.”
The study highlights the importance of restaurants having a robust digital ordering system. Independent restaurant customers are less inclined to return to pre-pandemic dining habits after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, so that impact could be particularly keenly felt by small local businesses.
Per the PYMNTS/Paytronix data, 84 per cent of vaccinated millennials aged 33 to 43 use rewards programs, as well as 82 per cent of vaccinated millennials aged 25 to 40 and 85 per cent of vaccinated Gen Z diners. Meanwhile, nearly 44 per cent of customers say they are “very or extremely” likely to spend more on food when a restaurant offers online payment , while more than 41 per cent say the same for online ordering.