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National Restaurant Association - Operators, customers say loyalty programs grow business

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Operators, customers say loyalty programs grow business

Restaurateurs are feeding consumers' appetites for perceived value by serving up more frequent diner programs at their various establishments, National Restaurant Association research finds.

According to the 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, approximately 30 percent of restaurant operators are offering frequent-diner programs to their customers in order to increase patronage and loyalty.

The research found that 57 percent of all adults said they'd be more likely to patronize restaurants offering customer-loyalty and reward programs.

"Offering frequent diner programs is one way to satisfy customers' desire for increased value, especially during tougher economic times when consumers want to dine out, but may need a little more incentive to do so," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA's Knowledge & Research Group. "Rewarding loyalty is not only a great way for operators to thank their guests, but also continue to build that customer base going forward."

Among operators who provide those programs, 56 percent in family dining, 45 percent in casual dining, 69 percent in fine dining, 67 percent in quick-service and 52 percent in fast casual, said their respective offerings are more popular now than they were two years ago.

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