4 Best Restaurant Loyalty Program Ideas

Posted on December 21st, 2018 by Breck Hapner

Consumers love loyalty & reward integration programs.

Whether it’s discounted drinks, a free meal or a limited time offer, people enjoy collecting and using points at their favorite restaurants.

The question is – how will you make your loyalty program stand out from the crowd? What could you do that’s unique? How can you make your customers stand up and take notice?

There are few things more important than delivering the kind of food your target customer wants. But beyond that, the perks can make a big difference – and you’re about to find out how.

So, here are some of the best restaurant loyalty program ideas.

1. Determine Exactly What Your Customers Want

Customer databases can prove incredibly beneficial in determining exactly what your customers want. Leverage dashboards & business intelligence to gather and analyze data. Why does this matter? Because you don’t want to present your guests with offers they’re not going to claim to begin with. After all, the best kind of offer is one that helps you drive revenue while engaging your customers.

So, figuring out what they want in terms of rewards or a loyalty program is key to your success. Giving your customers things they don’t want won’t get you anywhere, and you may as well save the time, money and effort for something else.

2. Personalize It

The best loyalty programs cater to the individual rather than the group. Many restaurants miss out on the opportunity to connect with their guests on a more personal level, but that’s a mistake. From a customer’s favorite menu item to their birthday, collecting the right data will help you create offers that are tailored to your guests.

After all, aren’t loyalty programs all about surprising and delighting your customers? If it doesn’t matter to them, it doesn’t count for much. You can make a big impression on your customers by offering something special on their birthday, anniversary or other special occasion.

3. Create Experiences

Everybody appreciates a free beverage or meal from time to time. But is that what loyalty programs exist for? Surely there are more creative ways to serve your customers. And, there are.

One way to develop an outstanding loyalty program is by creating experiences for your guests. For instance, you could offer a tour of the wine cellar. You could allow people to reserve a table for a special event in advance. Perhaps you could hold a cooking class.

Whatever you do, don’t just think in terms of discounts and specials. Think also in terms of creating an experience your customers won’t soon forget.

4. Implement A Referral Program

There’s a good chance you’ve already identified your best customers. So, who are the best customers you don’t know yet? Probably people just like the ones who frequent your restaurant. It’s probably safe to assume friends of your best customers could become your next best customers.

Your most loyal customers have probably been speaking your praises to their friends already. So, rewarding them for something they’re already doing makes good sense. And, the reality is that referral programs have the potential to go explosively viral in a hurry. If you do this right, you could give your business a significant boost.

So, give some extra points to those who bring in their friends. Reward your best advocates with worthwhile incentives.

Final Thoughts

Per Upserve, Bain & Company found that a 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase profitability by 75 percent. That’s massive.

Marketers often focus on bringing new customers through the door. As valuable as these efforts can be, it costs more. The best way to increase your profitability is by engaging existing customers and increasing their Customer Lifetime Value.

Do you have a loyalty program at your restaurant? What are you doing to keep your customers coming back? For further investigation, check out Fishbowl, LevelUp, Olo, Paytronix, Punchh, and Qu

Integrating A Loyalty & Rewards Program Into Your Business 

If you are interested in implementing a loyalty & reward integration for your restaurant, DineEngine® can help you accomplish that goal in the most effective manner possible. We are experts at developing highly engaging and comprehensive apps that encourage customer engagement. Tell us about your goals and we can design an application that will turn the occasional customer into a loyal patron.