Is A Restaurant Loyalty Program Important?

What can a restaurant loyalty program bring?

An effective restaurant loyalty program can easily increase your average loyal clients from 15% to 50%.

You might think that your percentage is already better than that. Well... think again, cause others had a similar false sense of security as well. A study performed by NRA (National Restaurant Association, US) on restaurant owners indicate that they believe 60% of their customers are loyal. But after analysing the credit card transactions it was concluded that only 15% of customers could be considered frequent buyers.

NRA also states that this is much lower than the average percentage in similar industries with high frequency and stiff competition. Why is this happening? Probably this has to do with the low margins and little knowledge around how to invest in effective online and offline marketing activities.

Why should loyal customers be important to you?

  • Loyal clients are affordable. It is six times harder to attract new customers than to please your loyal consumers.
  • Loyal clients bring more money. Loyal consumers spend 5% more than non-loyal customers. Loyal consumers visit your restaurant 20% more times than non-loyal customers.
  • Loyal clients bring more people. 82% of loyalty program members referred at least one person to their program. 42% of loyalty program members referred four or more.
  • Loyal clients are the last leaving. When things get tough your loyal ones may be your only escape plan. They may continue to order from you for a while even if things are not so good as before so they can help you survive a crisis situation. More importantly, they constantly give you feedback on things you can improve or on the areas where you’ve lately become sloppy. This may save your business even before having big problems.

Now you’re entering unchartered territories and you should let yourself be guided by your creativity and the sales skills you’ve acquired so far.

There is an unlimited number of ways you may combine those parameters to offer something only to a certain type of client that you want to reward only in a certain moment.

It’s time to dig deeper into the little settings that the marketing and promotions module offers, in order to create more segmented promotions for various types of clients. For example if you want to replicate online the idea of a punched card promo (e.g. “order from us 5 times to get a free coffee”) you may use this “multiple of” condition over your deal idea:

Marketing promotions module

Oh..and don’t stop here. Rinse and repeat!

For example, you may surprise unhappy clients and win them back with special “let’s make up” deals...available only for them:

  • you can use the promo templates to create a “$Xoff” coupon code deal, (whereas the coupon code can be even the client name), hidden from standard view and with “client can use it only once” property.
 Example of promotion for your restaurant loyalty program - hide from menu
Example of promotion for your restaurant loyalty program - coupon custom name
  • If you want to “make up” to the clients with missed or rejected orders…you can create a promo deal exactly for that (e.g. x% off on your order if your previous order was missed or rejected)
Example of promotion for your restaurant loyalty program - set promo for missed orders

Restaurant gamification can also improve customer retention by engaging people in a fun and exciting way. We’ve prepared a cheat sheet just for you!

Try various things, try new things, change fast, change often and see what works best for your business. We can only hope you’ll share back with us your most successful findings soon.

Good Luck!