8 Restaurant Loyalty Program Ideas to Boost Customer Retention

8 Restaurant Loyalty Program Ideas to Boost Customer Retention

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To enhance growth, improve revenue, sustain a brand, and better understand your customers, you need a well-run loyalty program. Restaurants that have well-designed restaurant loyalty programs are aware of the results, what they are aiming for, and how to measure success. You must choose what kind of program to establish after determining what you want to achieve. 

Restaurant rewards programs provide your business with a way to offer discounts and deals depending on the customer's behavior. By collecting relevant data about customer-buying patterns, restaurants can better understand customer preferences and cultivate customer loyalty by offering suitable rewards. Rewards can include a free item, a discounted meal, or special access to things like wine and dinner pairings. A customer rewards program can have different types, but they all share the ability to effectively drive business. 

The main aim of creating a loyalty program is to motivate customers to come again to your restaurant and to make them stay with you for an extended period. And about 80% of future revenue can be easily generated by about 20% of your loyal customers. Great food and service also attract customers to your restaurant and give them an extra incentive to keep coming back. Your restaurant's loyalty program will provide an additional incentive, motivating them to return and earn points or discounts. 

Before diving into the loyalty program ideas, first of all, you need to know what results you expect from your restaurant loyalty programs and how you would measure them. Similar to any marketing exercise, you can aim for SMART (specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related) goals, so it is essential to have a clear timeline and achievable criteria. 

Below are some helpful ideas for the best restaurant rewards programs to try out: 

1. Loyalty App 

Having a loyalty program app in place is convenient for both customers and restaurants. Customers need to download a loyalty app, create an account, and can start redeeming rewards based on the collected loyalty points. Several customers believe that it is essential for a loyalty program to provide a digital option. With this in mind, you can provide a real benefit to your restaurant, and a loyalty program should be digital. It will allow easy management of vouchers, bring back return customers, create digital stamp cards and create a sustainable loyalty card. 

2. Loyalty Cards 

It is one of the simplest ways to get started. Customers can receive loyalty cards when they visit a store, get them stamped and punched each time they visit, and spend a pre-determined amount on their purchases. After they have made purchases at your stores about 5-6 times, they can get the next item free or a certain percentage of the purchase price discount. 

3. Loyalty Points 

The loyalty points-based program is effective and can work wonders for any restaurant business. New entrants in the restaurant industry can choose to award points every time a customer orders a meal or drink. Your customers can redeem those earned loyalty points at a later time. This type of point system is popular in the food and restaurant business as it encourages frequent customer purchases. Another way to attract customers is to give them free points, encouraging them to place an order from your restaurant. It will be a profitable situation for your restaurant and customers. It might also increase online orders from your loyal customers, allowing you to earn more significant rewards. 

4. Membership Programs 

A points-based program can be free; you can keep the option of creating a membership opportunity. Customers can pay monthly to join and get exclusive access to a particular menu item or exclusive event.  

5. Social Sharing Rewards  

With a social media sharing rewards strategy, you can get help from customers to enhance your brand's presence online. You can reward your customers for sharing, following, or liking posts. You can work on customer engagement while your customers spread awareness about your restaurant. 

6. Referral Incentives 

Loyalty programs help in encouraging and rewarding referrals. For instance, you can give your customer a reference code, which they can share with their friends and family. As their code gets redeemed, they can earn points for a discount or perhaps get entries into a giveaway. To make this referral incentive approach more successful, offer both participating parties some reward. 

7. An Online Food Ordering System 

Customers prefer to order meals online. Therefore, having an online food ordering system in place will be a worthwhile investment for your restaurant business. It saves time for your customers and is a convenient option too. They need not visit restaurants and can enjoy meals from the comfort of their own homes. Seeing the increasing demand for online food ordering trends, several restaurants have developed food delivery apps to enable customers to place orders from various available options and deliver food to their doorstep. You can consider offering an online food facility for customers and a free delivery option since customers usually do not like to pay delivery charges. 

8. Recognition for Big Spenders 

This group of customers is desirable and could become potential repeat customers for your restaurant. For this to happen, you should give the best customer experience at your restaurant. Brands usually encourage big spenders to spend more money with the concept of "Shop More, Save More." 

The Bottom Line 

Overall, loyalty programs for restaurants offer a great way to reward your loyal customers by offering them enticing deals, discounts, perks, gifts, and other special offers. It is a modern tool used by several restaurants to reward customers for their continued business and other activities.  

This article was written by Loyal-n-Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.
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Douglas Nolan
Written by Douglas Nolan

He believes in solving real problems with realistic technological solutions that stand the test of time. Seeing his clients struggle to retain consumers, Douglas decided to help his clients by offering affordable and top-class loyalty solutions. Doug loves transforming the lives of his employees by assisting them to develop a solid blend of TQ (Technology Quotient) & SQ (Spiritual Quotient) to excel in their professional & personal lives.

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