Tue Aug 21 2018
People love their food. And there has never been a wider choice of places to eat and cuisines to sample. That makes for a fiercely competitive market for restaurateurs and pop-up food businesses. Knowing what’s important to customers when they’re choosing where and what to eat could therefore be a critical differentiator between food establishments that survive and those that thrive.
In a recent survey conducted by Barclaycard, 37% of respondents said food was the one thing they spent the biggest share of their disposable income on in the last 12 months. Not only that, but 68% said the eating out experience is as important as the food itself.
So it’s up to restaurants to do more than make and serve delicious food if they want to attract and retain customers.
We spoke to Tim Love, senior marketing manager - content, channels and conversation at PizzaExpress, to find out what they’re doing to encourage customer loyalty.
“Through listening to what our customers are telling us and playing close attention to trends, we could see an increase in the demand for vegan options.
“Barclaycard provides us with anonymised spend data, which means we are able to validate these trends to support customer needs.”
“I’m so proud to have been part of the development of the new PizzaExpress app.
“It was developed to enhance our customers’ experience, particularly the Pay with App functionality, which means no more waiting for the bill, as we know speed is critical for some of our customers. And to make things even easier, groups of customers can easily split the bill without any confusion, as well as check which restaurants are nearby and book a table if they’re on the move.
More than half (56%) of people consider how short the wait for the bill is when choosing which restaurant to eat at.
“Our app has also provided us with a new channel to communicate with our customers, allowing them to receive exclusive content, for example games, rewards and birthday treats. This helps us to be connected to and build relationships with our PizzaExpress fans.”
67% of customers say they like it when brands give them exclusive access to promotions, offers or deals.
“We want customers to enjoy their favourite pizza wherever they are.
“This could be in a field at a festival, delivery to home or in one of our restaurants. That’s why popping up in unexpected places like Barclaycard presents British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park, London, gives us the opportunity to share good food and good times and be part of our customers’ life experiences.“
68% of people say the eating out experience is as important as the food itself.
“We know customers are also looking for an experience that goes beyond good food.
“We focus on providing our customers with excellent food and offer even more reasons to visit, for example with PizzaExpress Live.
“Music is part of our DNA. Our Founder Peter Boizot was a jazz lover and constantly sought ways to include music in his restaurants. The PizzaExpress Live flagship venue at 10 Dean Street, London has hosted internationally acclaimed music since its first ticketed shows in May 1976.”
“For PizzaExpress, appearing at festivals is a chance to connect with our fans and share experiences together.”
Tim Love, senior marketing manager, PizzaExpress
 A nationally representative survey of 2,000 British adults and 250 business owners conducted by OMD Research between 19th June – 5th July 2018
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Watch small business owner and social media influencer James Rix experience it and read Barclaycard’s experiential marketing expert’s five tips on how to create events that encourage customer loyalty.