Feeling like a valued guest is an important part of the customer experience, particularly in restaurants where dining options are plentiful. With 86% of customers less likely to leave brands that are utilizing a rewards program, implementing a loyalty program at your food service establishment is a great way to retain loyal customers and build your fan base.
There are a range of loyalty programs that you can offer, depending on what goals you’d like to accomplish. Not only will this program help you gain insights about your customers and increase your revenue (loyalty members spend up to 66% more than regular customers), but you’ll also be differentiating yourself from the food service venue down the street.
Here are the common types of loyalty programs offered:
- Loyalty Points: This type of program is arguably the most effective, and it is based on the amount of money or items being purchased by patrons. One example of this would be spending $10.00 and receiving 100 points (i.e. 10 points for every dollar spent). You could also pair the points with specific items in order to encourage specific menu offerings, such as bonus points for a certain item. Another good option for a loyalty points program is offering bonus points upon sign-up. Within a few weeks, you should notice higher average check sizes, because people will want to spend more to receive the point benefits.
- Tiered Loyalty Programs: Tiered loyalty programs work by designating tiers or types of customers based on their loyalty. Customers who spend more would be in a higher tier than customers who may visit only once or twice a month. Customers will have the ability to spend more and move up tiers to experience better benefits as they progress, so this is a great option if you’d like to encourage more frequent visits and higher spends.
- Referral Programs: Referral programs are a brilliant way to encourage more visits to your dining venue. You can also pair the referral program with gathering Google or Facebook reviews about your business to help drive up your online presence. When people share their good experiences with your restaurant publicly, guests are going to be more likely to visit. A referral program could consist of a discount or voucher to redeem if someone publishes a review or if someone brings a guest into the restaurant, or it could make use of referral codes that are becoming more popular as influencer marketing grows. Particularly if your restaurant is listed on apps like Uber Eats, having good reviews is critical to gaining more customers and a referral program or a review program will help you attract more guests.
Naturally, there are other types of loyalty programs that you can investigate that include promotional or discount days, free delivery, secret menus for loyalty guests, or birthday offerings if you are storing this information in your POS or CRM.
Once you’ve selected a loyalty style that you’d like to offer, promoting this program is the next step. Promote your program through in-store signage and online to ensure that the word is being spread about your loyalty offerings. You want customers to take advantage of this program, so your staff should be encouraging guests to sign up whenever and wherever they can.
As you implement the program, keep the following in mind:
- Ensure staff are trained to explain and articulate the benefits of the program.
- Make the adoption process as easy as possible for guests.
- Don’t over complicate your loyalty program. Keep it simple so customers (and you) can reap the benefits.
If you’re unsure where to start with your loyalty program, connect with a sales associate at Volanté who will be happy to review your current landscape and recommend an appropriate loyalty program.