- Households with children have shifted to digital ordering from restaurants more than other demographics, according to research from PYMNTS and Paytronix. More than 31% of single parents and 25% of married parents switched to online food ordering during the pandemic, versus 18% of singles and 12% of married couples without children.
- Married couples with children have spent more on food orders than any other type of household since the pandemic began, spending an annual total of $7,792, or more than double married couples without children ($2,204) and single consumers ($3,122).
- This amount could be even higher. The report shows that 39% of married parents and 40% of single parents would spend even more on food orders if the restaurant had a loyalty or rewards program. Additionally, 36% of married couples and 33% of singles would spend more if such a program existed.
This high level of interest in increased spending by married parents, who may have more disposable income than younger diners, is an opportunity for restaurants to boost sales. But there is an awareness gap that could hurt independent, full-service eateries. The report finds 56% of married couples and 55% of married parents who order from table-service restaurants don't use loyalty programs because they do not believe they're available. This underscores how imperative it is for brands to not just adopt loyalty programs, but to heavily promote them.
Loyalty consumers have historically spent more, sometimes 20% or even 67% more than non-loyalty consumers. There's a reason more brands, from McDonald's to Taco Bell, are adopting new or updated loyalty programs.
Targeting households with children could yield even higher results. According to Technomic, about 80% of millennial parents visited a restaurant at least once a week in 2019, the most frequent restaurant users of any group. Millennial parents spend about twice as much at limited-service restaurants as the average consumer, per Technomic's research.
Married and single parents spent more on digital orders at quick-service restaurants than table-service orders, while singles spent more online at table-service restaurants, the PYMNTS/Paytronix report found. The majority of households said they would spend more on food orders if a loyalty program was available, and more than half of all married parents use loyalty programs to get more value from their digital orders. Married parents are the most likely demographic to say they would spend more if they could order and pay digitally, while single parents are more likely to spend more for curbside pickup.