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Study Finds Only 1 in 5 Guests Return Within 12 Months

Study Finds Only 1 in 5 Guests Return Within 12 Months
March 22, 2023

Analysis of more than 50 million restaurant diners shows 80% of guests don’t return

A recent analysis by DataDelivers of more than 50 million guests across multiple restaurant service formats showed only 1 in 5 customers return within one year. This finding further suggests that only 17% of first-time guests returned to that restaurant in the next 12 months.

“Many brands focus on customer acquisition, yet retention is the key to ongoing success. The cost of continually bringing in new customers is so much higher than retaining existing ones, and our analysis shows there is tremendous opportunity to achieve higher returns and higher sales through better engagement to retain these guests,” explains Pat Riley, VP of Business Development at DataDelivers, LLC, a premier provider of data-driven tools and analytic services for the restaurant industry.

DataDelivers’ team of data scientists analyzed information from credit card purchases and other key data points on millions of restaurant customers across the United States.

For one regional burger brand that DataDelivers studied, the analysis revealed that out of 300,000 first-time guests, only 44,000 returned during a year, for a 14.6% retention rate, and only 7% returned with regularity and became engaged with the restaurant brand. Over time, this low retention rate could negatively impact the brand’s growth and expansion goals.

Addressing the Retention Challenge

For many operators, a single view of their customer from multiple data points is the first step to increased retention. A customer management platform (CMP) can consolidate POS data, loyalty, e-club, online orders, and other sources into one solution that can be managed from customized dashboards.

Recently TGI Fridays™ implemented DataDelivers’ Customer Management Platform and this visibility of customer behaviors has given Fridays a detailed understanding of how best to target heavy and light users, new and lapsed guests, and other valuable customer segments.

Another method to combat low retention numbers is through one-to-one marketing. In its analysis of the 50 million guests, DataDelivers demonstrated that those brands who used Guest Connect one-to-one marketing campaigns targeting those new guests doubled their retention rates to nearly 35% return rates for first time guests.

The regional burger chain with an overall retention rate of 9.5% partnered with DataDelivers to leverage its proprietary Guest Connect program to create one-to-one campaigns. After 12 months, the brand’s retention increased to 24.6%.

DataDelivers’ Guest Connect solution can help a brand understand cross-channel behaviors and establish a customer segmentation for optimizing marketing efforts. This insight-driven customer identification sets the stage for personalized marketing, tracking behavior triggers and understanding where growth opportunities can be found.

“The numbers tell an undeniable story about diners and their behavior, and operators can use this information to better understand their restaurant, their customers and how to grow sales,” added Riley.

About DataDelivers

For more than 20 years, DataDelivers has been helping companies find sales that are hidden in their data. By knowing where to look and turning information into intelligence, DataDelivers gives clients the tools they need to grow sales and build long term customer value. Last year, DataDelivers helped restaurant clients identify more than 15 million new guests, generate more than 2 million incremental visits, and produce more than $40 million in additional revenue. DataDelivers is headquartered in Schaumburg, Il and employs highly trained data scientists, computer programmers and skilled marketers to serve clients in restaurant, retail, energy, and transportation sectors.

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