4 Tips to Make the Most of Your Restaurant’s Loyalty Program
By Adèle Richardson at Paystone
Whether you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start offering your customers a little something extra or you’re just trying to make the most of your existing customer loyalty program, this article can help you get your rewards program off the ground.
Although implementing a loyalty program is the first step to growing your sales, traffic, and retention, there are a few tactics you can use to make it more successful.
1. Tell your customers about it.
Starting a loyalty program might be the first step to improving customer retention, but a loyalty program without a plan to promote it won’t go as far as you want it to.
If you want to grow your loyalty membership, first your customers need to know it exists. Make sure you promote the loyalty program on your restaurant’s website, social media, and at your business. Create simple signage and other marketing materials so your customers understand the value of signing up for your program.
You’ll also want to make sure your employees are knowledgeable and prepared to promote your loyalty program. They should be able to quickly and confidently answer customers’ questions about sign-up, perks, and special offers.
2. Give customers a reason to sign up.
If you’re having trouble getting customers to sign up for your loyalty program, you might need to sweeten the deal. Plenty of loyalty programs offer customers an immediate reward for signing up and completing their online member profile. For example, if you own a café and want customers to sign up for your loyalty program, offer them a free large coffee just for becoming a member.
If you’re still having trouble getting members to sign up, or if members joined but have no interest in using their loyalty cards, you might need to re-evaluate your rewards structure. Ask yourself, “am I asking my loyalty members to spend a lot of money before they get their next reward?” and “do my rewards and promos provide real value for my customers?”.
When it takes too long to accumulate enough points to redeem a reward, most customers end up frustrated and wondering if it’s really worth joining another loyalty program. Make your loyalty card earn its place in your customers’ wallets.
3. Look at the data.
At last, you’ve overcome the first two hurdles and you finally have a healthy loyalty program. Let’s not stop here — make sure you’re using all the juicy customer data that your loyalty members provide. This data is one of the biggest benefits a loyalty program provides to a business.
A digital loyalty program will help you to gain some of the following insights:
- Which promos are the most effective
- How much loyalty members spend
- How frequently loyalty members visit (and time between visits)
- The time between point redemption
Once you understand your loyalty members’ data, you’ll be able to use these insights to optimize your promotions and re-engage your customers.
4. Create some delicious promos.
It takes some trial and error to find the most effective promotions for your restaurant. But it’s well worth the time to figure out what’s working so you can give your customers more of what they want.
Look at your top-performing promos and create similar offers to entice your guests to come back for more. You can also automate the email promotions that you send to your loyalty members. For example, if a loyalty member hasn’t stopped by in a while, re-engage them with a limited-time offer (or a birthday treat!). A strategically-timed promo will help you encourage your customers to return, ultimately giving you a higher return on investment for your business.
Don’t get discouraged if your loyalty program isn’t an immediate success. It takes patience and care to launch a successful program and ensure your customers keep using it. But with a little effort and optimization, you’ll be well on your way to growing your membership and sales!