Loyalty and reward programs offer many benefits.
Customer rewards programs offer a wide range of benefits. The benefits of customer rewards programs are many, and most (if not all) directly improve the bottom line.
- Customers are loyal to brands they feel connected to, according to more than half
- 69% of consumers base their shopping decisions on the stores that offer the best rewards
- Customers can feel valued through rewards programs that go beyond financial contributions
- Restaurants can personalize loyalty programs to enhance the relationship with their guests
By offering rewards to diners, loyalty programs can also help to attract new customers to your business.
Ideas for a Restaurant loyalty program
Creating a rewarding, effective, and engaging restaurant program has many ways. Use or combine one of these ideas to make a unique offering that speaks to your restaurant’s core customers and values.
Loyalty point systems
As its name implies, this program awards points to diners based on the level of their patronage. The points may be found in the amount of money spent or the frequency of dining. You can assign points to specific actions or events. For example, you could give 10 points for inviting a friend for dinner or sharing a social media post.
It’s okay to offer free food to attract customers. Items such as t-shirts and mugs can be given to guests. They also make great gifts for them to take with them.
These items also remind people of your brand, not just the person who receives it but anyone else who sees them.
Subscribe to receive subscription rewards.
You can offer a standalone rewards program or add tiers to your free loyalty program. Add a paid level to your loyalty program or provide a separate restaurant meal subscription reward. In either case, customers pay upfront to receive tips later, such as premium seating at whiskey pairing events or food bundles that are deeply discounted for major holidays.
Remember your online customers who place orders for pick-up or delivery. You can run online rewards programs through your restaurant’s POS system. This allows you to track and reward customers for their online purchases.
Third-party reward networks
Third-party organizations oversee loyalty programs on behalf of clients like you. These networks are an excellent option for entrepreneurs who need more resources or time to launch and track a rewards program.
From customer registration to redemption of points, the right reward network can handle everything. Some reward networks negotiate with retailers and vendors to offer prize packages. These networks include many other restaurants, and by joining, you may see your customers becoming more loyal to them than to you.
Get Punch Card Rewards
Punch cards are best used by casual businesses that want to boost sales for one or two products. You might offer punch cards for hot fudge sundaes at your ice cream shop, or you may have premium drinks on your coffee shop’s punch card.
You can experiment with various restaurant punch cards until you find a balance for sales growth and profit protection.
Cards that say guests can get a freebie if they buy 10 of a particular item (a drink or an appetizer) are a popular idea. One fun idea is to ask guests to try each sauce for their chicken wings.
Word of mouth rules the service industry. The recommendations that people get from their friends, families, and colleagues are trusted. Referral rewards are a great way to capitalize on existing conversations. Each time an existing client refers a guest to the company, they could receive a reward.
Promotional rewards are not tied to or earned by customers. They are instead given to guests as a surprise to encourage them to take action. You could send a coupon to reward members with a complimentary appetizer at happy hour to generate buzz about your new cocktail menu. You could also offer BOGO appetizers every Tuesday to boost business on a traditionally slow day.