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What to Know About the Grab-and-Go Audience

Grab-and-goers. Curbsiders. Drive thru-ers. These are various terms for the grab-and-go audience that have predominantly applied to quick-serve-restaurants, but have quickly become customers in every industry.

April 16, 2020 3 minute read

In the current global climate, the grab-and-go audience has expanded to most industries almost instantaneously. Hospital systems have quickly pivoted to host drive-thru testing sites. Retailers are rapidly rolling out curbside shopping to their consumers. And just like that, nearly every industry now has to cater to the grab-and-go mindset.

Every time we study the customers of a quick-serve-restaurant, we always find a soft spot in our hearts for the grab-and-goers. Mainly because our team is made up of process nerds that unabashedly love a strong brand presence, and we all have a hankering for a frictionless experience. In other words, we have a lot in common with that audience because most of the time, we are that audience.

These are a few things we know about grab-and-goers that we predict will ring true, even as the world of consumer behavior adapts and changes around us.

They actually want human connection.

There is a common misconception that if a customer is in a hurry, they want to be ignored. And while it’s likely they don't want any unnecessary time tacked on their journey, they actually want to interact with people. The reason the pick-up area for digital orders is placed near the cash register is two-fold: one being that it is most conveniently located near the door, and the other is that the person at the register could give a "thanks, Jane" if the customer's name is large enough on their to-go bag. 

As contactless becomes the norm, brands will need to make their micro-interactions more human — even if it is just in the tone your brand takes in a notification, an email or in-store signage. That way, as your customer is dashing in and out, they still feel taken care of and connected even if they only had a few minutes on-app and in-store.

Grab-and-goers expect more.

This is the audience the digital world was built for. Therefore, these are the customers that have come to expect every minute as perfectly orchestrated — from re-ordering with one tap to having their to-go bag on that shelf at just the right moment. This is the audience that is forcing restaurants to create second make lines and build ghost kitchens. 

They have such strength in numbers and revenue potential that operations have had to adapt. Something especially true with this audience is that the brand loyalty of yesterday has shifted to experience loyalty. If their experience is seamless, they'll be back.

They are habitual.

This is one of our favorite fun facts about this target audience and why, as we're bringing a feature list to life, one of the first functions we explore is the ability to re-order in as few taps (or clicks) as possible. 

This audience doesn't just order pizza. They order the same two pizzas from the same location around the same time every Friday night after they get home from work. And we often find it is an added bonus if they get reward points with those transactions that they can eventually use however they want — which they far prefer over the offer for a free side on their next visit.

As we tread lightly into new terrain full of radical shifts in behavior and ever-changing consumer expectations, we're excited for the grab-and-goers. And they're excited to meet you too. As long as your experience is easy enough that it makes them want to come back — at the same time next week.

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