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Importance of discount vouchers to restaurants may have been overplayed

10 September 2010 by
Importance of discount vouchers to restaurants may have been overplayed

Discount vouchers may not be worth restaurants' time and effort, according to new research.

Flying in the face of conventional wisdom - mainly that the UK public is addicted to restaurant vouchers and eating-out deals - the latest QuickBite survey from Horizons suggests the importance of vouchers may have been oversold.

Horizons' research of more than 1,000 consumers found the majority (55%) wouldn't choose a restaurant based on the availability of money-off vouchers or discount deals.

Of those surveyed, only 17% claimed they used discount vouchers or offers, and only a quarter of diners that use vouchers admitted they would eat elsewhere if a deal had not been available.

Horizons' Peter Backman said: "Vouchers are untargeted in that while they persuade a percentage of consumers to dine somewhere they are also being used by more loyal customers who would dine in that restaurant anyway and don't need to be persuaded with money-off vouchers."

Backman said that while deals in the eating-out market had become more sophisticated in the past 18 months, operators still needed to work harder to attract new customers rather than purely rewarding existing ones.

Two-for-one offers are the most common eating-out vouchers used by diners, with money-off coupons and "meal deals" ranking second.

Women (19%) are more likely to use discount vouchers than men (12%), with those under 35 the most common age group to use them.

Some 44% of diners hear about vouchers from friends and acquaintances, with digital communication the second most important method, the majority of which comes from the restaurant.

London restaurant prices show slowest growth in a decade, says Hardens >>

Eating-out report warns of long-term effect of recession >>

Pizza Express is king of the discount vouchers >>

By Chris Druce

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