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88% of diners will exchange email address for discounts off food

In a world of clever promotional tactics to engage with customers, a comprehensive survey into the UK’s eating out market by Guest Experience Management expert, HGEM has revealed that discount off food is still the number one incentive for customers – with 88% stating they’d be willing to part with their personal data in exchange for incentives such as discount off food and 65% of respondents saying even a free drink would suffice.

The study has also revealed that only 41% of diners would share personal data in exchange for free Wi-Fi, perhaps indicating that in 2020 this is expected as standard.

When it comes to consumers choice of data that they would be happy to depart with easily, the HGEM survey revealed there is a wide discrepancy in what information diners are willing to share with operators. More than 88% would be happy to share their email address, while only 9% – all Millennials – would be happy to provide their social media profiles/handles, putting this figure at the lowest and the least of favourable data diners would be comfortable to share.  

The survey also revealed that the best time for operators to request personal information from guests is directly at booking phase, with 53% of respondents identifying this as the best point to share personal data. A mere 2% would be prepared to divulge personal information during the meal, strongly indicating that customers do not wish to be disturbed when dining out.

Once data has been collected, it is essential that operators use it in the correct way and the survey revealed that 51% of people would only like to be contacted once a year, while 35% of customers would be happy to be contacted once a month, suggesting customers are not eager to receive promotional offers from operators on a frequent basis.

Sally Whelan, Founding Director of HGEM stated: “How comfortable diners are in giving their own personal information to pub and restaurants operators is such a current topic, which has been particularly prevalent in our industry since GDPR. This latest research has revealed that, while diners are more likely to provide personal data, there is a clear opportunity for operators to offer incentives which are appropriate and seen as rewarding for their diners. Integrating these findings will no doubt have a beneficial impact on communication with customers and, ultimately, repeat bookings.”

For more information, please visit: www.hgem.com

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