Restaurants Offering Subscriptions Up 54% Over Past Year According to Square – TechToday


According to a new report from payment processing company Square, the number of restaurants offering some form of active subscription plan to its customers has grown by 54% over the past year. These subscriptions – anything from a wine club to a taco lover’s pass – have become increasingly popular (among some, at least) in recent years as restaurants look for ways to create more stable revenue through automated payments and increase customer loyalty.

According to Square, over three-quarters of restaurant subscriptions remained active after one month, and 57% remained active after six months.

Of course, it should be noted that Square doesn’t represent the entire point-of-sale market for restaurants so the data might be somewhat skewed. While other POS players like Clover also offer support for subscriptions, Square has been probably the most active in building out subscription functionality over the past year. That said, given the success Square has had and the continued challenges restaurant operators face in the form of rising costs and constrained labor markets, my guess is most major POS providers will begin to offer this feature sooner rather than later.

The Square report also showed data that pained a picture of a slowly recovering, perhaps permanently changed, restaurant industry post-pandemic. Square data shows that while many urban work centers have seen their share of food and beverage transactions increase slowly since the early days of the pandemic, overall activity has largely flatlined. According to Square, downtown dining is at about three-quarters of what it used to be, a number that is primarily a reflection of a reshaped workforce that has seen many office workers continue to work from home for the bulk of the workweek.

However, Square data shows that one city has proven to be a significant outlier to the trend of decreased downtown dining traffic. According to Square, Detroit has seen its downtown dining jump an eye-popping 75% increase in traffic compared to 2019, something that’s likely attributable to strong hiring by US automakers, particularly as they look to build out their EV strategies over the past couple of years.

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