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A restaurant loyalty program can help bring new customers to your brick and mortar shop. They can also boost mobile food ordering for those on the go. They’re a popular tool to increase customer satisfaction, retain loyal customers, and generate awareness. 

The restaurant industry consists of many restaurant marketing ideas. However, loyalty programs are one of the most effective solutions for eateries. Some of the best restaurant loyalty programs can transform a business, So, let’s dive into everything you need to know before launching one. 

What Is A Restaurant Loyalty Program?

A restaurant loyalty program is a system that gives perks to customers. A POS system stores rewards data to streamline restaurant operations. Loyalty programs can attract repeat customers, establish new customer relationships, and increase your restaurant profit margin.

The Best Time to Launch A Restaurant Loyalty Program

The time you should create a restaurant loyalty program depends on the business’ reputation. There are many reasons to create a restaurant loyalty program for an eatery that’s been doing business for a long time. On the other hand, you should also consider rewards for a new restaurant, too. 

Let’s determine which timeline will work best for your restaurant. 

Loyalty Programs For New Restaurants

A loyalty program or promotional event will help generate awareness if a restaurant is new to the area. Perks and discounts upon opening will entice new customers to stop by. Then, the loyalty program will encourage them to come back. 

 Loyalty Programs For Popular Restaurants

A restaurant loyalty program can be beneficial if your eatery has been around for a while. It’s even better if it already drives a lot of traffic.

Providing stellar rewards to your customers will enhance their sense of trust in the business. And if there are residents who have yet to stop by, offering an exclusive rewards program can persuade them to dine at your restaurant. 

Established restaurants can benefit from launching a loyalty program at any given time. However, we recommend launching it during your busiest season. It’ll be a period when you’ll get the most sign-ups, which will result in more awareness. 

Key Takeaways About Launching A Loyalty Program For Your Restaurant

Customer retention is vital to maintaining steady growth. It’s especially important in smaller towns. 

Eateries in highly-populated areas like New York and Los Angeles can still do well with infrequent visitors. Sadly, it’s a bigger issue in suburban areas.

 Whether you manage a popular or brand-new restaurant, never create a lackluster loyalty program just to have one. Low-quality rewards can deter customers from your business, which defeats the purpose.

A restaurant loyalty program will serve as influential collateral for social media. Advertise your rewards and how to sign up across all your content pillars. Learn more about social media ROI first to better track digital metrics.

Restaurant Loyalty Program Software 

Consumer behavior is vital data for launching a restaurant loyalty program. You’ll need to understand what your customers want to decide which perks you want to offer.

Nowadays, restaurant managers can utilize tech to track rewards. POS system features include data storage about customers. Such information often consists of the most popular meals and the busiest days of the week. All of which will be important to know.

Restaurant hosts and wait staff can look up customer rewards with a phone number or email address. Restaurant technology helps to simplify the process, making it easy to offer such programs. 

To make it simple for customers to sign up, use QR codes. A custom QR code can be on each table, redirecting customers to a brief sign-up page. 

Running a restaurant can be a tricky task. There are multiple metrics to consider for marketing efforts. You’ll receive a plethora of insights about your customers. It’s your job to effectively use it all to accelerate business. 

Figure out which data points pair well to streamline promotions. For instance, if you find that a seasonal drink sells out during the appropriate months at a specific location, bingo! Now you have an optimal period, product, and audience to create an offer for. 

Once you analyze the data, there will be many crossovers to inspire rewards and discounts that make sense. Just use the restaurant’s software to keep up with best-sellers, positive reviews, and busy shifts. Restaurant staff will begin to pick up on creative promotional ideas in no time.

Examples For A Restaurant Loyalty Program

You can get creative when designing a restaurant loyalty program. Try to always remember what sells, who you’re serving, and your current financial standing. 

It’s not a bad idea to alter a restaurant’s rewards now and then. However, it’ll serve you best if, after a while, your restaurant becomes well-known for its rewards and perks. 

Some ideas to offer your customers include:

Seasonal Discounts: Does your restaurant generate more business in the summer? Is there a reason why there’s more traffic during cooler weather? Use valuable customer insights to determine which times of the year your restaurant should host major discounts. 

Holiday Promotions: Everyone enjoys the festivities of the holiday. Offer specials when fun and creative holiday events take place. Whether it’s $3 champagne flutes for New Year’s Eve or half-off items from the appetizer list for the Super Bowl, customers are sure to enjoy the perks. 

Happy Hour Specials: Though it’s not the most original idea, it always helps to draw a crowd. Check your POS system to find out which days are the busiest. Then, you’ll know when to promote your happy hour menu. From popular cocktails to creative recipes from the bar staff, we recommend it. 

VIP Rewards: Reward your most loyal customers with exclusive perks. After so many times visiting your restaurant, maybe the customers can get a free dish. Or, frequent diners could get a percentage off. Ensure that your POS system keeps track of VIP history.

A restaurant loyalty program doesn’t have to abide by the standard “one point for every visit” layout like others do. The rules and rewards will depend on the goals you have in mind for your specific program.

What to Consider Before Launching A Restaurant Loyalty Program

You must tailor a rewards program based on your specific business and customer base. Before launching a restaurant loyalty program, ask these questions:

  1. Would you rather increase the turnover rate or total order values?
  2. Are you trying to utilize mobile ordering to expand your geographic reach?
  3. How much revenue do you need to generate to make a profit? 
  4. How many types of loyalty programs do we want to create?
  5. How many levels or reward frequencies do we want to set in place?

Have you ever noticed that chain restaurants offer discounts in some locations but not others? It’s most likely due to unique differences within their customer data. With this in mind, don’t assume that every loyalty program will perform the same everywhere.

Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Loyalty Programs

Why Should Restaurants Have A Loyalty Program?

Restaurants should use a loyalty program to increase business. Customers who spend money at your restaurant will be more likely to return to redeem rewards someday.

When consumers receive freebies or major discounts from a business, they will likely talk about it. Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of promoting a product or service. Give your customers something positive to share, and expect an influx of business.  

How Do You Build A Restaurant Loyalty Program?

Create a restaurant loyalty program by choosing which discounts to offer. Though rewards programs can boost sales, you want to ensure you’re generating enough profits first.

Use a food cost calculator to determine how low you can charge for certain dishes. By sorting your finances ahead of time, you’ll be able to manage a stress-free restaurant loyalty program. 

How Does A Restaurant Loyalty Program Work?

A restaurant loyalty program collects customer data to provide rewards. Such rewards can be unique, so weigh your options before launching deals.

For instance, your POS system may keep track of the number of times they visit your eatery. Ultimately, the server may be able to offer a discount on the bill for visiting so many times. 

Restaurants can pre-program codes so that servers can swiftly apply discounts to orders. By operating a restaurant loyalty program this way, customers won’t need to bring a coupon.

Revolution Ordering is an off-premise, omni-channel, direct delivery-enabled ordering platform for individual, franchise, middle market and large multi-unit restaurant enterprises. Take advantage of cutting edge features including 360° order history, live order monitoring, and marketplace order insertion. Contact us for a demo now to see how our off-premise solutions can help grow revenue and earnings of restaurants. Note that Revolution demos are a walkthrough of our software, not a source of business advice.