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Benefits of Customer Loyalty Programs for Your Restaurant

  • Published on : 04/10/2016

In these pandemic times, the customer loyalty programs assume great significance as restaurants are struggling to stay afloat. As per the surveys conducted, 39 percent of all restaurant customers would be enticed to spend more on their food purchases if their restaurants offered loyalty and reward programs. With the help of modern day, digital restaurant Point of Sales System (POS), it’s pretty easy to build a customer loyalty program that makes it attractive for the diners at your restaurant.

7 key aspects of a customer loyalty program

Decide on the criteria

The loyalty program can be either based on the amount spent at your restaurant or the number of visits. If you are running fine-dine restaurants or bars, then you can reward customers with points based on the amount spent. An example is, for every 1000 rupees spent, you can reward them with 10 points. On reaching a certain number, they can redeem these points on the bill amount. 

If you are running quick service restaurants or cafes, then ideally the criteria should be the number of visits at the outlets. An example is for every 5th customer visit, you can offer a free drink or a complimentary item. This prompts the customers to make repeated visits at your restaurant.

Keep the program simple

Never make the mistake of designing a lengthy customer loyalty program with too many steps, which is difficult to understand. Customers stay away from such complicated programs, which makes your effort go in vain. Try to come up with a simple loyalty program that is user-friendly and easy to understand. One more important point is that the process of points redemption should be simple. With the help of cloud based restaurant loyalty programs such as inresto Loyalty, it’s pretty simple to customise your loyalty program based on your customer retention goals.

Offer a referral incentive

Any customer would prefer to visit a restaurant which is recommended by his or her friends and relatives. Hence, to attract more footfalls, you can offer a referral incentive for your existing customers. If someone joins your restaurant’s loyalty program through the reference of present customers, you can reward them with special points. This step acts as a motivation for your existing customers to recommend your restaurant to others. 

Reward customers for social sharing

As per the study conducted, nearly 50% of the US diners are influenced by social media. Encourage your customers to share the benefits of your restaurant’s loyalty program on social media. It will definitely evince interest among the connections in their network to visit your restaurant and sign-up for the loyalty program. A feature can be added in your loyalty program where customers are rewarded for their social shares. For sharing the experience about your loyalty program, customers can be rewarded with additional points.

Train your staff on the program

As your employees are the ones who interact with the diners frequently, they should be well trained on the various features of the loyalty program. Whenever the customer enquires about the program, they should be in a position to explain how the program works and the benefits of enrolling for the same. The staff should be able to leave a lasting impression in the minds of the customers that motivate them to join the program.

Identify regular customers

Loyalty programs such as inresto offers the feature of generating reports and identifying the regular customers. Repeat visits can be generated by extending special offers to them. 

Seek feedback and track program impact – Reach out to customers in the form of surveys and ask for feedback. For participating in the surveys, they can be rewarded with additional loyalty points. Based on customer feedback, you can make further tweaks to the loyalty program. One more important aspect is to check the impact of the program, customer repeat rates and ROI.

Parting words 

As the food and beverage industry is going through a tough phase, the challenge is to increase the footfalls at the restaurants. The digital loyalty programs offered by the modern day POS platforms not only attract repeat customers but also lead to word-of-mouth publicity and increased sales in the long run. 

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