You Don’t Need To Be A Major Chain To Benefit From A Loyalty Program

Posted on February 21st, 2019 by Breck Hapner

People love loyalty programs, even if they don’t have a clear understanding of what they are or what they do.

“I get to collect points”, they say, as they excitedly pay for their latest order – points they may not even redeem for a long time to come.

But as you’re surely aware, as customers accumulate points, they get to claim discounts, promotions, free products and so on.

But loyalty & reward integration for restaurants are just for major chains, right?

Well, the reality is that loyalty programs can be great for smaller, independent restaurants too. POS Sector claims that loyalty programs can boost your business by 35 percent.

Here are some of the key reasons you should think about creating a loyalty program:

Keep Your Customers Coming Back

As you are likely aware, one of the primary benefits of a loyalty program is that it keeps your customers coming back.

They may not get to reap the rewards of their patronage by visiting your restaurant once or twice. They need to accumulate more points. Sometimes, that alone can drive more return visits.

But you can certainly take this a step further by learning the names of your regulars, asking them about their day and whether they’d like the “usual”. As a smaller restaurant, you may have the upper hand in creating a closer connection with your customer.

Another simple but often overlooked point is to create menu items your customers love. Food is one of the key things that will keep your customers coming back. But don’t forget to create variety too, as people can grow tired of the same meals over and over.

Build A Database Of Customers

Dashboards & business intelligence for restaurants are more important than most people even realize, though a savvy marketer would immediately understand why they should prioritize gathering customer info.

A loyalty program is an opportunity to create a better connection with your guests. That should be abundantly clear already.

What may not be immediately apparent is how to use that info. Technology services for restaurants can offer approaches to let customers know how they can earn more incentives, notify them of promotions and discounts and more.

Additionally, you may have the opportunity to connect with people you may not otherwise be able to when they sign up for your programs.

Increase Your Revenue

There’s virtually no business that would say they don’t want to grow if they are adequately equipped to handle it.

As already noted, loyalty programs have the potential to increase your business by 35 percent.

There may be other metrics or data points that are flighty or hard to measure, but revenue is central to the success of a restaurant.

So, even as a small restaurant, you could increase your revenue significantly by implementing a loyalty program. Some loyalty & rewards marketing and customer data providers include Fishbowl, LevelUp, Paytronix, and Punchh.

Build Your Brand

Exposure is harder to measure. But we do know that people need to be exposed to a brand repeatedly to feel a connection to it.

Implementing a loyalty program could be a good way to grow your word-of-mouth customer base. It could help you get your brand in front of more people – like the ones you’re looking to attract.

You can’t have “brand loyalty” without the first piece – a brand. So, look for opportunities to build your brand with your loyalty program.

Conclusion

Restaurants sometimes make the mistake of assuming a loyalty program is hard to implement and that it’s more work than it’s worth.

If that’s how you’re feeling, keep it simple. A little can go a long way. For instance, you could offer your customers loyalty rewards when they’ve filled out a survey. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.

There is a cost to any initiative you take on, but the cost of a loyalty program doesn’t need to be high – especially if you utilize the latest tech.

Integrating A Loyalty & Rewards Program Into Your Business 

If you are interested, we can implement a custom Olo loyalty & rewards integration for your restaurant. DineEngine® can help you accomplish that goal in the most effective manner possible. We are experts at comprehensive and highly engaging mobile app development for restaurants 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.