Britons enjoy mouth-watering savings thanks to upturn in ‘discount dining’
One of the more positive trends to emerge from the recent recession is the advent of the discount dining culture. Where regular meals out used to be the preserve of the rich, it now seems that restaurants are opening their doors to a new breed of clientele who are only too happy to eat out once or twice a month, if there’s a discount involved.
Research from comparison website Moneysupermarket.com has revealed that restaurant vouchers are now the most popular of all vouchers claimed online, with diners saving an estimated £3bn in the last year alone.
The number of people in the UK eating out using vouchers has increased by 30% in the last year, with more and more restaurants offering discounts online and through loyalty clubs and reward programmes. With the number of people eating out once a month or more also increasing by 11%, it appears that the stigma of using a voucher to help pay for a meal may be a thing of the past.
Savvy consumers are becoming increasingly adept at shifting their loyalties to companies who offer them the best deals. Half of those questioned said they now check for vouchers before eating out, with 22 % saying they would refuse to go to a restaurant that doesn’t offer some form of discount.
Among the beneficiaries are pizza outlets such as Perfect Pizza and Pizza Hut, and high street chain restaurants like Zizzi, La Tasca and Strada who have consistently distributed vouchers and discount codes to generate customer retention. Companies offering membership programmes like The Rocket Marketing Group have also been quick to latch on to the trend.
Andy Huggins, Managing Director of Rocket Marketing, believes that incorporating discounted dining into their membership clubs has helped Rocket to drive incremental revenue and generate customer loyalty for their partners in potentially difficult times.
He said: ‘Our research has shown that our club members have a real interest in discounts on food and drink. We’ve recently entered into a partnership with Perfect Pizza where members can get 2 for 1 pizzas all year round, and it’s been extremely popular. I think it shows that people are still willing to spend money on things like eating out if the price is right.’
The trend towards discount dining is further proof that organizations who are willing to adapt their business models and generate creative solutions during a recession are the ones best positioned to survive it. As is often the case, the difficulties imposed by the recession have acted as a catalyst to help the restaurant industry engage with a new audience, and may well have opened them up to a profitable new market for the future.