How can high gas station prices help restaurants and grocers increase sales?

High prices at the pump are driving consumers to new gas stations. Here’s how grocers and restaurants can benefit.

January 26, 2023
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How can high gas station prices help restaurants and grocers increase sales?
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How can high gas station prices help restaurants and grocers increase sales?

According to Consumer Reports, the national average price for gas peaked at a record high of $5.02 per gallon in June 2022. Averages have fallen since then, but in Q4, the average cost of gas remains a burden for consumers at $3.92 — especially since inflation has raised prices on food, utilities, and other everyday essentials.

AAA reports that 64% of consumers have changed their driving habits to offset high gas station prices, but in a car-dependent society, not everyone can shift behaviors. The only option is for consumers to find savings at the pump — and wherever else they can. With this heightened value-consciousness, businesses that (profitably) help consumers save have an incredible opportunity to increase their market share. For instance, grocery stores and restaurants can attract new customers and increase their sales by participating in the programs and platforms consumers use for purchases in other categories. Here’s how.

Driven to cut costs

A June 2022 report by PYMNTS found that 61% of U.S. consumers were living paycheck-to-paycheck to keep up with rising prices, while an estimated 33.5 million (13%) had outspent their income for the past six months. These stats correlate with an October report from Deloitte showing that prolonged concerns about inflation are shifting long-term consumer spending sentiments. For example, many consumers are reducing risky investments in the stock market and saving less cash as food and gas station prices take more of their paychecks.

Consumers have not been this motivated to cut costs and find savings since the Great Recession. Any grocers, restaurants, and other businesses that can help consumers cut costs have the opportunity to convert them into loyal customers. A McKinsey survey found that 39% of consumers switch brands and products, and 32% are willing to switch to retailers when they don’t find what they want. This percentage will only increase as inflation continues.

The Upside halo effect on restaurants and grocers 

Our partner retailers reach and incentivize tens of thousands of consumers in their area to choose their business over their competitors. When Upsiders use the app to decide where to fill up their tanks, they also see personalized cash-back offers for nearby grocery stores and restaurants. This visibility on a customer’s phone screen at the buying moment puts our partners’ businesses top-of-mind for users, creating a virtuous cycle between all the categories on the platform.

The data proves that for everyone who partners with Upside, there’s a halo effect that’s real and measurable. When new business categories join Upside, all retailers see more Upsiders, transactions, and profit as a result. 

  • 90% increase in app usage, providing a huge bump in visibility for businesses from new customers. 
  • 64% increase in transactions, with entirely incremental sales driven by the platform and the multi-category boost from other vertical customers.


For restaurants, that translates to:

  • 2.5x more transactions per site each day
  • 2.8x more daily active users per site

For grocers, that translates to: 

  • 2.1x more transactions per site each day
  • 2.0x more daily active users per site

With prices at record highs, consumers are looking for value to help them weather inflation. Retailers who can provide that value profitably are positioned to maintain and expand their market share.

Experience the benefits of Upside yourself with a free demo of our platform. Fill out the form below for details.

How can high gas station prices help restaurants and grocers increase sales?

The Upside Team

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The Upside team is made up of data scientists and industry experts who are passionate about delivering empowering content to our readers. With a focus on providing practical insights and meaningful perspectives, we create engaging materials across a wide range of topics. From exploring industry trends and offering expert analysis to sharing useful tips and inspiring ideas, our team works diligently to provide you with the information you need to thrive.

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