How To Increase Customer Loyalty In Restaurants?

Restaurant Server taking order from a woman

From big businesses to small ones, acquiring new clients can be 5–25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones. Plus, 77% of customers who have had a good experience with a business will refer it to a friend. 

Furthermore, a 5% improvement in client retention can boost profitability by over 25%. This means loyal customers can act as brand ambassadors for your company and that treating your guests like gold is a sensible, low-cost method to boost sales.  

Even more so for restaurants, it has become more about creating a memorable customer experience than merely serving a tasty dish. Although every restaurant owner has a large variety of potential customers they can choose from and cater their business to, the company’s long-term goal remains to increase the restaurant’s number of loyal customers and customer loyalty.

Although, the challenge lies in retaining and converting the best customers into loyal ones who will visit you often. Therefore, the right restaurant loyalty program and an effective and smart restaurant POS can help you encourage and motivate the customers who are likely to revisit you.

Continue reading the article to gain more insights on customer retention and how to increase customer loyalty in your restaurant. 

6 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty in a Restaurant

While only around 20% of your clients are considered loyal or repeat customers, they account for roughly 80% of your revenue. So how do you get to this level? Here are some ways:

Start a Customer Loyalty Program

The restaurant loyalty program is not a new concept in the hospitality business. However, it is essential to personalize your loyalty program according to your USP and customers. 

Here are some more ways in which a customer loyalty program works:

  • Customers visit your restaurant more frequently since they accumulate points each time they place a delivery or takeout order.
  • Customers are more likely to visit your restaurant frequently if they get rewards like discounted or complimentary menu items.
  • As you learn more about your customers’ interests and spending patterns through your loyalty program, you will be more capable of offering them personalized incentives. Personalized offers enhance the likelihood of guests redeeming their rewards and visiting your restaurant to earn more points (read, spend more money).

Don’t Compromise on Quality

Your customer loyalty won’t work unless the quality of your products is top-notch. Excellent food, drink, and service go a long way toward establishing a loyal client base. And keeping these factors consistent keeps them loyal for a long time. 

Start by focusing on sourcing high-quality and freshly-prepared ingredients. For example, farm-to-table cuisine is rapidly gaining popularity because it uses fresh, local foods that are guaranteed to have optimal flavor and texture. 

Plus, consider investing in culinary knowledge — find talented cooks who are enthusiastic about what they do and hire them.

Sell an Experience 

You’ve already got your consumers’ attention with your delectable meals, now you can provide additional benefits to elevate their experience. You could do this by pairing great food with a memorable experience and enhance how people think of your brand. So they come back and bring others. 

So whether you run a restaurant with a warm, welcoming atmosphere where everyone is treated like family; or you sell ice cream where customers can choose flavors and toppings; think about what you want your customers to take away with them besides food.

Leverage Social Media

Social media marketing campaigns are an efficient and low-cost approach to reminding customers why they love your company. In fact, social media influences nearly 70% of buyers’ shopping decisions. Restaurants are likewise influenced by social media’s sway, thanks to photo sharing, geo-tagging, and reviews from reliable influencers. 

Plus, you can share food-porn-worthy photographs on networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to make your consumers drool and return to your tables. You can also submit short movies highlighting your excellent customer service, cocktails, or even your chef making a house specialty. Or you could hold social media contests to encourage users to interact with your content.

You should post three to four times per week. This will keep the content at the forefront of your guests’ minds, but not to the point that they become annoyed or tired. 

Furthermore, research suggests clients desire social media services and anticipate a speedy reaction. Over 40% of consumers want a response within an hour on social media, and over 30% expect it within 30 minutes. Your in-store employees must be consistent and engaging on social media.

Ask for Feedback

Ask your consumers to share their feedback after their visit, or on intervals (through emails) to receive a complete picture of their experience. Then, using this consumer input, implement improvements and show them that their opinions are appreciated. 

The simplest way to get feedback is to directly ask for it. Alternatively, you may use bar fliers, table tents, and social media posts to advertise your business profile on Yelp or Google. This allows your customers to inform you and the rest of the world online about their experience at your restaurant.

Plus, if you notice a decline in order value, for instance, you could include a question in your feedback survey asking customers whether they think your menu provides value for money or whether they find it expensive, which would allow you to better tailor your menu to the preferences of your customers.

Gamify the Program Experience

People enjoy playing games, so restaurant loyalty programs that incorporate gaming are successful. As per a report, brands using gamification have experienced over 20% boost in loyalty and a nearly 50% increase in engagement. 

Since points are the most widely used form of payment in video games worldwide, it is not surprising that companies have implemented point systems to reward their customers.

That said, keep things simple! Nobody will want to participate in a loyalty program with a long list of requirements and restrictions. 


Now that you understand the different ways that you can employ to boost customer loyalty in your restaurant, the next step is to choose the right loyalty software for your restaurant. While searching for such software, look for one that integrates well with cloud-based POS software, which will boost your bottom line and allow you to track the success of your efforts. 

Moreover, a loyalty program integrated with your restaurant POS software will help boost customer retention while streamlining your operations. Although, in the sea of many restaurants, don’t forget to stand out and make your guest experience unique in any way possible. They might not remember how your food tastes, but they will not forget how you made them feel.

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Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


  1. There’s a bit about encouraging word-of-mouth you seem to have missed out on.

    When a new customer registers on to your loyalty program, ask about how they found out about your restaurant, so that you can thank the person concerned.

    And then make it a point to thank the person concerned. More loyalty points is obvious but a personal thank you note goes a long way.


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