Canadian Pizza Magazine

Occasional customers key to increasing business: NPD Group

Chicago – If half of light restaurant users in the United States made one more visit per year, it would mean an incremental increase in sales of $1.1 billion, finds a new report from The NPD Group.

“Losing Our Appetites for Restaurants, which is based on NPD’s receipt mining service, Checkout Tracking, and its ongoing research, examines the reasons consumers have cut back on foodservice visits and which type of users – heavy, medium, light and super-light – decreased their visits the most.

Two thirds of consumers who have decreased their restaurants visits say they watch how they spend their money on most or all purchases, and a high percentage of these respondents think that restaurant prices are too high, according to the report. The consumers who have cut back on restaurant visits the most are heavy restaurant users, who typically visit restaurants three or more times per week. Heavy restaurant users are the perceived low-hanging fruit for many restaurant operators and the target for promotional efforts. This user group’s visit cutback was a major factor in foodservice traffic growth coming to a halt, NPD said in a news release.

Although they may not visit often, light users, who typically visit restaurants one time per week, and super-light users, who visit less than one time a week, are extremely valuable customers. Combined, these two groups account for nearly half of all restaurant customers in a year, and they spend more per visit than heavy users. If half of light users made just one more restaurant visit each year, the company calculated that there would be an incremental sales increase of $1.1 billion. These users told NPD that regular discounts and discounts of their choosing would entice them to visit more.


“Many restaurant operators have spent much of their resources and time in rewarding heavy buyers,” said Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst at NPD and author of the report. “It’s important to continue recognizing heavy buyers, but to grow their business, operators need to increase visit frequency from all user groups, including light and super-light users.”