Promoting loyalty is one of the most important aspects of customer retention. Not only do your products and services need to attract buyers, but you need to reward those who stick with you long-term. Loyalty programmes allow you to thank your repeat customers and make them feel appreciated. But how do you create an excellent restaurant loyalty programme?
Creating Effective Restaurant Rewards Programmes
First, you should decide if you want to go with a card-based or digital programme. You’ve likely seen these from large restaurant chains that use campaigns to track consumer wants. The convenience of a digital programme is hard to beat, and customers are more likely to utilise it.
No matter which route you take, it’s essential to start small. Maybe your first programme offers 10% off after a certain number of purchases or restaurant visits. Once the programme is successful, you can provide larger promotions like a free product or meal. Some of the most common reward options include:
- Point-Based Programmes – Customers can accrue points to redeem food or drinks in the future.
- Punch Cards – Good for businesses with less room for technology expenses. Customers get a punch on their card each time they visit.
- Tiered Membership – Customers get rewarded for frequenting the business and can move up through different membership levels with perks.
Be sure to promote whichever programme you implement online and at your restaurant. Social media is an excellent way to advertise for free and attract new followers in the process. Make signs promoting the programme’s rollout, so customers further understand the benefits.
Integration With Your Business
One of the most important parts of implementing anything in a restaurant is making sure the entire staff trains on it. Call a meeting to review the details and provide staff with handouts they can refer to later. Ensure a manager is always on shift while the program is launching so they can answer any difficult questions.
It’s also critical to ask for feedback from your customers. Talk to regulars and ask them if they have any suggestions. You can even put out a poll on your social media to gather a more extensive set of data. The objective is to incentivise customers, so listening to what they want in the future is important.
Designing Promotions Within Dining Rewards Programmes
Promotions should be strategic so that your restaurant and its customers benefit. For example, you can offer long-term customers a 20% discount on all catering services. You could implement a buy-one-get-one offer on select pastries you need to sell more. Another popular option is allowing kids to eat free on a specific night of the week to get parents who typically stay at home to come in.
One-time promotions or limited offers can work when you have a specific need to address. Maybe you have a holiday meal or dessert you need to sell before it’s no longer relevant. Offering a percentage off can help you make more than you would by discarding the product.
You should also focus on promoting repeat business. The rewards programmes are beneficial because customers must return to see the rewards. The other key to repeat business is making sure customers have a good experience. A good experience requires the best products to make your restaurant stand out. Ask your distributor about products from NCCO to offer the highest-quality options.
Regardless of the loyalty programme or promotions you decide to roll out, focusing on customer needs is always essential to a successful restaurant business. Ensure the process runs seamlessly and guests have a solid reason to return in the future.