You’ve heard of restaurant loyalty programs, maybe you’re even part of one, but can your business benefit from one? Many operators find themselves asking this question, especially when looking to give their business a boost. The truth of the matter is, a loyalty program can offer many benefits to your business if executed well. By adding a customer loyalty program to your services, you’ll be expanding your customer base, increasing brand awareness, and keeping your loyal customers longer, as well as attracting new ones.
Restaurant Loyalty Program Benefits
You’ll Have More Regular Guests
With a loyalty program, you’ll be able to turn casual patrons into loyal customers. About 52% of loyal patrons will recommend their favorite restaurant to their family and friends, according to Oracle Hospitality. This means that the more loyal customers you have, the more new customers will be walking through your door. A larger amount of regular customers will give you a larger amount of revenue due to having a steady and continued business. Not to mention, regular customers are more likely to spend more if they are driven by rewards.
Acquire Customer Data
A loyalty program does more than bring in regular customers, it is also a great way to get to know your customers. For instance, a digital loyalty program, such as a restaurant loyalty app, will make it easy to collect information such as your customer’s:
- Favorite foods
- Spending habits
- Frequency of their visits
- Which days they visit
With this information, you’ll be able to give your customers personalized offerings, promotions, and exclusive offers. A tailored rewards program featuring their favorite dishes will make it hard for them to resist revisiting your establishment.
Spread Brand Awareness
If you choose to use restaurant loyalty cards, you have a chance of increasing brand awareness to potential customers. A loyalty card requires your brand’s logo and colors to be featured on the card. As your brand becomes more popular, a loyalty card with a prominent logo will make your business instantly recognizable. You can also promote your brand through other means of advertising such as emails and social media posts. Every time you are featuring a special offer, you can send customers a notification which makes it easier for them to send these offers to others.
Keep Your Customers
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants have lost a big chunk of their customers. However, by implementing a loyalty program, you’re more likely to retain your customer base. The secret to keeping your customers is to always offer them good deals with their purchases. Many restaurants offer:
- Loyalty Points - Customers acquire a certain amount of points in order to get a reward such as a free drink or a free menu item
- Referral Rewards - Customers are rewarded when they refer new customers to your establishment
- Discounts - Reduced prices on special items or on special days such as birthdays or holidays
- Free Delivery - Customers earn a free delivery after a certain amount of orders from your restaurant
- Secret Menu - Loyal customers get exclusive access to a secret menu that offers new and exciting dishes
Monitor Your Loyalty Program
Having a loyalty program doesn’t guarantee it will be a successful loyalty program. In order to incentivize customers to sign up and stay on the program, you will have to strictly administer it to make sure it stays up to date. Here are some tips to help you ensure its success.
Make Loyalty Customers Feel Special
You don’t want to overdo things by handing out special offers to every customer. Loyal customers want to feel special and want access to rewards that a first-time customer can’t have. You’ll also want to limit your exclusive offers because it can end up hurting your business rather than helping it. For example, if you give away too many discounts, your restaurant will be impacted financially and in a negative way.
Implement A User-Friendly Enrollment Process
Another issue you’ll want to keep track of is the enrollment process. Make sure that signing up for your loyalty program is quick and easy. Many customers turn away from loyalty programs simply because enrollment is too difficult or too long of a process. Even millennials will turn away from their screens if the enrollment process takes up too much of their time.
Create A One-Of-A-Kind Loyalty Program
Finally, ensure that your loyalty program stands out from the rest. You won’t be the only restaurateur offering customers special deals, so you’ll want to make sure you encourage customers to stick to your program with irresistible rewards such as gift cards, student discounts, free desserts, and anything else you think your loyal customers will love.