2022 U.S. Consumer Dining Survey Results: Ad / Coupon Preferences of Today’s Diners

Last updated: October 20, 2022 | By Jed Dreben

Valpak® conducted a U.S. consumer survey (1,937 survey respondents) to determine what influences their dining choices and motivates them to try or switch restaurants based on incentives, including:

  • Top reasons to select a particular restaurant or takeout establishment
  • 70% said receiving a coupon or offer pushes them to explore new restaurants
  • The coupons most likely to be redeemed (69% chose buy one, get one free)
  • How much reviews (positive or negative) play a factor in deciding on a restaurant
  • The distance willing to travel for a restaurant (83% said 15 min. or more)

Use these online survey results to develop your marketing strategy and make smarter, more effective dining advertising decisions that help bring in customers!

A COUPON IN THE MAIL IS AS TRUSTED AS PAPER CURRENCY

79% of respondents said they prefer to receive coupons / ads from restaurants in the mail, followed closest by those who chose email (69%).

How do you most prefer to receive ads from restaurants?

How do you most prefer to receive ads from restaurants?

MOTIVATING CONSUMERS TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR A CHANGE

What does it take to motivate consumers to try something new? 70% said to receive a coupon or offer in the mail, while 60% said it depends on the variety and the type of cuisine available.

Which of the following would most likely motivate you to try a restaurant?

Which of the following would most likely motivate you to try a restaurant?

HAVE AN APPETITE FOR GOODNESS; WILL TRAVEL

Nowadays, with GPS, consumers find it much easier to hop in their vehicles and venture out and try a new restaurant dining experience / new location. For example, 48% of respondents surveyed said they’ll go 20+ minutes to try a new place, while 35% chose 15 minutes.
how long will you travel for a restaurant

REGULARS ARE THE BEST, ESPECIALLY IF EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME!

They say, “you can never have too much of a good thing.” Good deals, hot food, and great customer service influence your customers to come back for more again and again. 78% of respondents credited taste and food quality with their returning habits, while 63% went for the fair prices.

Which of the following would most likely influence you to become a regular customer at a restaurant?

Which of the following would most likely influence you to become a regular customer at a restaurant?

WHEN IT COMES TO DELICIOUS FOOD CHOICES, LOOKS CAN BE EVERYTHING

The dining experience includes tasty images of menu items and the style and condition of the decor, both of which play a major role in the love at first sight of potential restaurant customers. For example, 69% of respondents said images of top-selling menu items influence their choices, while 64% favored images of new items.

Which types of images in ads would most likely influence whether you dine or order from a restaurant?

Which types of images in ads would most likely influence whether you dine or order from a restaurant?

POPULAR CUISINE TYPES AND THE CHOICES AND VARIETY OUT THERE

Favorite restaurant types consumers would most like to receive coupons from are no surprise: Italian and Mexican food tied for the top spot with 51% of respondents, with pizza close behind at 49%.

Which types of restaurants would you most like to receive coupons from?

Which types of images in ads would most likely influence whether you dine or order from a restaurant?

OTHER POPULAR TYPES OF FOOD / BEVERAGE BUSINESSES THAT PEOPLE ENJOY

81% of respondents like receiving coupons for grocery stores, while 53% chose bakeries—consumers like an adventure and get excited about product discoveries outside local restaurants and fast food.

Which other types of food / beverage businesses would you most like to receive coupons from?

Which other types of food / beverage businesses would you most like to receive coupons from?

WHAT MOTIVATES CONSUMERS AND BRINGS THEM TO YOUR BUSINESS OVER ANOTHER?

Something for something is a straightforward face-value deal to understand, and why “buy one, get one free” took the top spot with 69% in restaurant coupons most likely to be redeemed—followed by “dollars off purchase” (56%) and “free menu item” (53%).

Which types of restaurant coupons are you most likely to redeem?

Which types of restaurant coupons are you most likely to redeem?

MAYBE WORD-OF-MOUTH IS STRONGER, OR MAYBE PEOPLE LIKE TO TRY THINGS FIRST

Restaurant interactions inspire reviews more than any other industry. While most consumers rely on reviews, there is something to be said for personal experience. 59% said reviews influence their decisions some of the time, while 23% said most of the time.
word of mouth is stronger

HOW MUCH DO STAR RATINGS MATTER TO CONSUMERS?

Depends on who you ask. Restaurant experience and the star-rating system seem to have some wiggle room. While 34% of respondents said it has to be a 4-star or above, 31% said that star ratings don’t matter at all.
the star rating system in restaurants

OVER THE PAST 2 YEARS, HOW MUCH HAS CHANGED?

When consumers were asked if they order takeout / delivery more or less now than 2 years ago, 42% said “about the same”; however, as delivery services like DoorDash and Grubhub have become increasingly more popular, it’s not surprising 27% said more.
how much has changed in the past two years

FROM THE SCREEN OR PAGE TO YOUR PHONE, QR CODES HAVE CHANGED THE GAME

81% of respondents prefer to receive a link to an eatery’s menu from a QR code; 79% want to get coupon offers; 21% appreciate a map to the restaurant location; 22% like the technology for instant customer reviews.

If you received an ad from a restaurant with a QR code, which of the following would you prefer that it link to?

qr codes and restuarants

GAIN AN EDGE OVER THE COMPETITION WITH VALPAK

In the restaurant industry, being aware of the dining preferences of your customers and potential customers can give you an edge over the competition. Keen insights into how consumers like to receive ads / coupons, which offers they are most likely to redeem, and what motivates them to travel or try a new restaurant helps you stay competitive year-round. Understanding and incorporating these into your marketing strategy will positively impact your business. Take time to view the data and think about combining direct mail and digital marketing campaigns to cook up more profits.

From the Blue Envelope to neighborhood-targeted postcards to Instagram advertising,  your local Valpak rep can help you decide which channels work best for your business.