A restaurant’s success is highly dependent on having satisfied customers. We’re in a world when competition is just a few clicks away, and you really have to define your presence. Building loyalty in this scenario can act as an indispensable pillar of your marketing and restaurant management strategy.
This post covers what loyalty means to you as a restaurant and ideas that you can implement today to promote your own loyalty program.
What a Customer Loyalty Program Means for Your Restaurant
A restaurant customer loyalty program is a specific reward system offered to customers as a motivation to keep coming back. In the current days, customers are not only pleased by loyalty rewards but they also expect you, as a restaurant, to have a program in place for it.
Loyalty benefits your restaurant because:
- You have an opportunity to please your guests.
- You can attract more customers through it.
- You can retain more customers through effective marketing opportunities.
- You can build a strong brand for your restaurant.
Ideally, restaurants should use an omnichannel loyalty program. This means that you can make customers ordering from multiple platforms like your app, website, third-party or phone calls, a part of your the program.
Remember: When done right, your loyalty program has the power to turn a passerby customer into a brand ambassador for your restaurant.
We’ve selected a few examples to inspire you quickly:
7 Loyalty Promotion Ideas You Can Use Right Now
You’ve got a loyalty program in place. You’ve informed your customers about it. Great. Although, the real challenge lies in making your customers believe that this program holds some real value. You’ve to highlight its benefits and promote it in a manner that customers get a head start and a motivation. After all, you want results from this program and don’t want it to be yet another wasted expense, right?
We’ve been there too, and that’s why we have these 7 promotion ideas that you can use to convey the value of your loyalty program to all your customers.
Offer a referral incentive
Friends listen to friends. Remember that time when you tried this new thing because your friend had a great experience with it? Right! You’ve to create something similar for your loyalty program.
You can offer special points to an existing customer when someone joins your loyalty program on his referral. These points can further be redeemed with a special offer as an added benefit for your customers to put in that effort.
Give a real-time motivation
If not pitched well, your customers might consider loyalty like a waste of time. To influence their perception rightly, offer them a real-time incentive while pitching your loyalty.
Imagine this: a customer comes to dine in at your restaurant, you ask him if he would like to join your loyalty program and share some future benefits. He might not be that motivated to opt-in or may say that some other time.
Now think of this: when the customer visits, you share with him that we have a loyalty program in place and if you become a member, you’ll get a free dessert today and the other benefits in future. This creates an instant motivation for him, and the chances to sign-up become so much more.
Encourage social sharing
Customer reviews and appreciation has a high influence on how the restaurant’s image is perceived online. (Trouble dealing with bad reviews? Check out our tips here) If your customers share about the restaurant and the benefits of the loyalty program, new people are more likely to sign-up for it.
To encourage them to share this, you can create certain incentives in your loyalty program itself. For example – share your experience of being a member of this loyalty program and win 50 more points or a free dessert.
Highlight it on your website
Your website not only provides you with brand value but is also great for promoting new offers and campaigns. You can add a section for your loyalty program on the website and share its various categories and rewards.
For people ordering directly from your website, you can inform them about the program through push notifications and also give them a way to track their points when they order something.
Use CRM effectively for promotion
Integrating your loyalty program with an efficient CRM system will help you promote it through special SMS and email campaigns. Use this as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and share offers that are unique to your brand presence and make an impact on the customer’s mind.
You can even use these messages for making customers aware of their points and promoting sales in turn. Who doesn’t want to order when there are just 10 points away from winning a free item? This is only one example of a trigger that can create a win-win situation for you as well as the customers.
Train your staff about it
Your staff is in direct contact with the customers and the best people to promote your loyalty program to them directly.
An important thing to consider here is that you need to train them with all the information for this conversation. They should be able to convey the benefits to the customers. This applies to everyone from servers to cashiers and even managers.
Share happy customer stories
There’s nothing better than sharing real stories of real people who benefited from your program. Schedule a 10 minutes session with your happy customers and ask them to share their experience. Trust us, these are the best insights that you can get. Then share these in the form of quotes, creatives or videos on your restaurant’s website and other social channels.
Thanks for reading. Loyalty programs are a great way to increase customer retention for your restaurants. We would love to know about your experience!
If you’re using a loyalty program, how do you promote them? If not, what more would you like to know about it? Share in the comments!