Unique Restaurant Rewards That Don’t Cost You Anything

Posted on November 9th, 2018 by Breck Hapner

In order to stay viable in a competitive market, you might have launched a loyalty & rewards integration program, or perhaps you’re currently considering launching one. Rewards incentivize your customers to keep coming back, and customer loyalty is key to a successful business.

However, you have to keep your bottom line in mind when deciding what type of rewards to offer, such as a custom Olo loyalty & rewards integration. Discounts and free items are obviously a major draw for customers, but offering too many will cut into your profits and potentially defeat the entire purpose of your loyalty program. Fortunately, there are many rewards you can offer that won’t cost you a dime.

Utilize Your Mobile App

Use your mobile app as your rewards program. Require customers to create an account in order to take advantage of your restaurant mobile app’s conveniences. Using a custom Olo mobile application for iOS and Android in this way will give customers a sense of exclusivity while also allowing you to efficiently monitor profits, customer engagement and many other important data points.

Option To Order Ahead Of Time

Allow members of your restaurant loyalty program to order online ahead of time via your website, mobile app or both. They’ll enjoy the convenience of avoiding a potentially long wait, and you’ll be offering a reward that won’t cost you anything.

Invitations To Special Events

Consider hosting special members-only events from time to time. Events could be as simple as a members-only happy hour or as elaborate as a multi-course wine pairing dinner. The customers will be paying in full but they’ll also enjoy the feeling that they’re in your “inner circle,” which can translate into loyalty. You might even go so far as to plan members-only events for special occasions, such as a Mother’s Day brunch or New Year’s Eve bash with prix fixe menus.

Meet The Chef

Is your restaurant known for its culinary excellence? Give your restaurant rewards members an opportunity to meet your chef or chefs. The event could range from a happy hour meet-and-greet to an exclusive members-only dinner with the chef. In addition to fostering customer loyalty, a “meet the chef” event will catch the attention of other customers who aren’t members and perhaps encourage them to join your program.

Priority Reservations

One of the simplest free rewards you can offer your customers is the perk of priority reservations, particularly during peak hours. It won’t cost you anything, and your customers will appreciate the convenience of skipping the line and being seated immediately.

Try New Menu Items First

Are you launching a new food or cocktail menu? Invite your members to come in for an advance prix fixe taste test. You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone: as with some of the aforementioned rewards, your customers will enjoy the feeling of being in your “inner circle,” while you’ll be gaining valuable feedback on your new menu items.

Feature Your Customers On Social Media

Engage with your rewards members on social media. Give them a special hashtag to use when they post pictures of your restaurant and then repost them. Millennials in particular enjoy the fun of momentary “social media fame.”

What’s In A Name?

Yet another fun but no-cost reward you can offer is the chance for one of your menu items to be named after one of your loyal customers. Instead of offering a free item after a customer purchases a certain number of those items or earns a certain number or “points,” offer the opportunity to have something like a cocktail or side dish named after them. You could also give them the chance to have their own designated glass at the bar or their picture on a “wall of fame.” 

Are You Spreading The Word About Your Rewards?

If you have a rewards program, how are you getting the word out about it? Your website and your mobile app are key to generating new customers and retaining loyal ones. For further investigation, check out FishbowlLevelUpOloPaytronixPunchh, and Qu. At DineEngine®, we create unique digital experiences for restaurants based on their customers’ feedback. Tell us about your rewards program goals and what your customers want and we’ll help you ensure that your digital platforms are as effective as possible.