As a restaurant owner, you understand how critical it is to keep customers coming in through your doors. You have to have loyal customers that love your food even if a pandemic hits the world. Building brand loyalty when starting a new restaurant can save you money and increase your total profitability. A loyalty program can take a variety of shapes, but at its most basic level, it’s a restaurant marketing strategy that encourages consumers to come back. A customer loyalty programme is one of the top three elements that affect restaurant choices, according to Publicis Sapient’s Digital Life Index.
Establishing a customer loyalty programme for your restaurant is one approach to persuade diners to make your establishment their go-to destination. Customer loyalty programmes track the spending of customers and reward them with points that can be swapped for prizes.
Get Started With Your Restaurant’s First Loyalty Program
Free menu items, discounts on meals, exclusive membership, and invitations to events are generally included in a loyalty program of a restaurant. Starbucks Rewards membership climbed by 25% from 2017 to 2019, according to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, who credits the program’s updates and enhancements over time.
Here’s how you can get started with your restaurant’s first Loyalty program.
1. Offer Loyalty Points
Create a loyalty programme that incorporates loyalty points on the number of visits to the restaurant or on the amount of spending on their bills. You can offer your customers a variety of promotions or discounts based on their bills with a customised voucher code on their next visit.
Customers who are loyal to your restaurant will earn more points and receive more incentives, which is a good incentive for them as long as the benefits are adequate. Loyalty points also improve the average amount spent by customers as they work towards earning points that are required to redeem rewards.
2. Make It Exclusive
Sending attractive SMS or emails to your clients to remind them to redeem their points is not the only way you can have a great loyalty program. Every customer wants to feel special at your restaurant, and giving exclusive perks for loyalty programme customers is a great way to make them feel VIPs.
You could offer early access to reservations for special dinners, complimentary meals or valet parking, more happy hours or prime seating, the list goes beyond. Take time to learn about your customers, their likings, their favourite dishes and you could maybe serve desserts or drinks on the house. Think of your loyalty program as an opportunity to build lasting relationships with your best customers.
3. Free Delivery
While COVID is ongoing, it is important that your loyalty programme can be used by the counters who prefer ordering food at home. Free delivery is a great way to entice customers that want to order food from your restaurant. Wave off delivery charges by a little if you can offer free delivery on every order which makes it more exciting and surprising. Set a limit to access that free delivery for customers and in that way they are also getting more food and you are also profiting.
4. Keep It Simple
Whichever format you use, it should be simple for your customers and workers to understand. Incorporate a POS system so that your staff is not messing up while serving you, loyal customers. A great POS system eliminates the physical hassle of punch cards which can get lost or worse. It also allows you to gain insights about your customers based on the data they provide you with or by participating in surveys.
5. Promote The Loyalty Program
Regardless of which of these restaurant loyalty programme ideas you choose, it’s critical that you promote them aggressively once they’re launched. Share happy customer stories on social media of people with their redeemed freebies. You want to make sure your program is mentioned in your marketing strategy so that your employees are encouraging customers to join by reminding them of the benefits.
Spread the word by setting up a table at local events, collaborating with other businesses, and marketing your loyalty programme on social media. Set up a website for your restaurant that can be referred to online and give a 360 tour of your restaurant for your customers to know the best seating.
6. Integrate Loyalty Program With Your POS
You want happy customers that can easily redeem the loyalty benefits that you offer and for that, you can not simply rely on physical staff. A great POS system can remove the difficulties that come with redeeming those points and automatically give points based on customer transactions at the time of purchase making the experience seamless. It also presents an opportunity to collect useful data about your guests, which can be managed easily by your POS system.
A strong loyalty programme aims to keep customers coming back, which necessitates a positive customer experience and a clear understanding of what works. Remember to integrate the ideas above and have a great loyalty program for your restaurant.