Go To Eat Campaign: A look at Food Category Apps


Since the beginning of the pandemic every country and government has been taking measures to control the spread of the covid-19 virus while opening and boosting economies, particularly among industries and business hurt most. Japanese government is no exception.

Japan has introduced several initiatives to help businesses affected by the damage that the pandemic has brought about, amongst which is the “Go To” initiative. “Go To” is offered into few categories, namely Go To Travel, Go To Eat, Go To Event, etc. These campaigns are aimed at promoting and encouraging people to visit restaurants, attend events, or travel domestically at a discounted price. In this article we will be looking at Go To Eat campaign and how it has been performing by looking at some of Japanese mobile applications in Food category.

Go To Eat campaign was rolled out in late August – early September (depending on the prefecture) and is designed to help the food and beverage industry recover from an economic shutdown. The campaign consists of two components: one is the discount vouchers where government offers 25% savings on your bill. The other one is the point-based reward program where you will be given some points, when you book your table table through participant websites, which you can spend later at any restaurant. (TOKYO CHEAPO)

Now let’s have look at some data, shall we? We will be looking at 4 major apps used to search for and book tables at restaurants across Japan: Tabelog, Gurunavi, Hot Pepper, and EPARK.

Monthly Active Users of each app discussed here have grown since July, with Tabelog being the most used app by diners. Moving on to another important metric, Daily Active Users (DAU), one can clearly see that all these apps start to see rise in DAUs around October, peaking in mid-November which may be due to a sudden rise in number of covid cases.

One more thing to note here is EPARK App, an online booking app, and how it has gained a remarkable amount of daily users. In fact, It has recorded the highest increase in daily user base compared to Tabelog, GURUNAVI, and Hot Pepper.

The effect, or should we say “success”, of Go To Campaign is not only seen in MAUs or DAUs, but also in apps’ engagement rates. As seen below, EPARK and Hot Pepper’s (Android) engagement rates jumped almost as twice in November compared to September.

Based on app usage data provided above by App Ape, we believe it is safe to conclude that Go To Eat Campaign has been successful in achieving its objective, encouraging people to dine out by offering discounts. And ti goes without staying that, people dining out leads to restaurants making money.

You may also be interested in user demographics of the said apps. Well, we have prepared that for you below. EPARK and Hot Pepper seem to be popular among Female users whereas Tabelog and GURUNAVI’s users are mostly made up of male users.

A look at age group data tells us that users in 30s and 40s make up majority of apps’ demographics which is not a surprise given their ability to afford dining out more frequently than those students and those in their early 20s.

Now time for bonus data. This time, we have included our unique metric called Hourly Active Users or HAU. HAU gives insight into the number of active users at any hour during a day. The below chart represents such number but in average of the month of November.

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