Diners crave personalised loyalty programs: study

09 May, 2016 by
Danielle Bowling

Technology solutions provider, Oracle Hospitality, has conducted a study which sheds light on what millennial diners want from modern day foodservice operations.

More than 9,000 millennials from around the world took part in the Millennials and Hospitality: The Redefinition of Service study, which assessed the ways in which hospitality operators should be adapting their services to meet the needs of Gen Y consumers.

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Conducted by an independent research firm, the survey polled participants aged 18 to 35 years, in eight different countries, including a subset that had worked in hospitality within the past five years.

The study looked at the participants' use of technology in hotels, restaurants, bars and coffee shops and amongst the findings was that 52 percent of millennials want to use their mobile devices to take advantage of loyalty programs offered by hospitality businesses. But these diners are looking for personalised programs that reflect their individual references – not the stock-standard rewards based programs offered by many businesses in the sector.

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“For the operator, this offers huge potential in collecting invaluable data about customer behaviour and delivering targeted promotions to drive order value and revenues,” a statement from Oracle Hospitality reads.

The study also found that there’s a significant gap between what millennials want to be able to achieve with their mobile devices and what’s actually deliverable. For example, 24 percent of Australian millennials reported already having paid with a mobile device, but 44 percent expressed a desire to do so.

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When it comes to employers in the sector, 35 percent of Australian millennials who had worked in the hospitality industry said there was much room for improvement in regards to operators’ use of technology. Only 18 percent said their employers solicited their suggestions for improving the business’ use of technology.

“The other significant finding is that the demand for ordering and paying by smartphone is not universal,” said Christopher Adams, vice president, food and beverage, JAPAC, Oracle Hospitality. “There are plenty of millennials that still want personal service when they’re in a hotel or a restaurant. Our job is to help operators adapt and define how technology supports a personalised, flexible service offering.”

Other key findings:

  • 57 percent of Australian millennials want to order delivery/takeaway by mobile device, and 36 percent have already done so
  • 16 percent of Australian millennials are managing loyalty/reward programs on their mobile device, however 46 percent would like to
  • 94 percent of millennials use their smartphones in a restaurant
  • 15 percent of millennials who had worked in the industry over the past five years said that their employers welcomed their feedback. In Australia, the percentage rises slightly to 17.7 percent.