2020 was one of the most challenging years of the century. Businesses from different industries were forced to shut down. Restaurants, in particular, were greatly affected.
Around 8 million employees in the food services were laid off based on the recent National Restaurant Association’s report.
Some restaurants tried to adapt to the challenge that covid-19 has caused. But because of the risk of dining-in experience, approximately 67% of people feel afraid and hesitant.
If you beat the odds of 2020 and made it possible not to close your restaurant, you are lucky. However, your job does not stop there. The challenge continues. Usually, businesses only strive to expand their market reach and acquire new customers. You can also have the same goal. But once you have obtained clients, aim to keep them happy and satisfied with your services. This is where a loyalty program can come into play.
What is a loyalty program? Does it work? What are some effective ideas for a restaurant loyalty program? Read on for more details!
A Brief Overview on a Loyalty Program for Restaurants
You have heard a restaurant loyalty program before. What is it? It is developed for both customers and restaurants.
The main function of a customer loyalty program is that it tracks the repeat customers’ spending. Then, it rewards their loyalty in the form of points where they can exchange for something. It could be a discounted meal, access to exclusive events, a free menu, or anything you think your market would love and deserve.
Does a Restaurant Loyalty Program Work?
Definitely! A restaurant loyalty program works. A study has suggested that more than 80% of revenues come from the 20% of a restaurant’s current/existing customers. Also, a survey found that over 58% of restaurant owners added and increased a loyalty program budget in response to the pandemic. Experts suggested that the number is projected to increase this 2021 and beyond.
But once you have invested in a restaurant loyalty program, do not forget to develop your food and your establishment’s ambiance. Plus, taking your customer service to new heights is worthwhile and meaningful at the same time.
How to Build a Successful and Effective Restaurant Loyalty Program?
Who says restaurant loyalty programs are only for those well-established and reputed businesses? Whether you are a beginner or do not have any prior experience with a loyalty program, you want to get the job done perfectly as planned. Below are some quick and straightforward steps you can follow when establishing your own loyalty reward system:
- Reward Clients Whenever They Visit Your Restaurant
According to a 2020 report, more than 78% of clients are more likely to spend with restaurants that have a loyalty program than those who do not have, especially when they get rewarded every time they dine in a restaurant.
But as a business owner, any reward loyalty system can be expensive. If you are short with your revenues and cash at hand, look for other affordable and valuable alternatives.
Today, people have countless choices. They will not regret finding another service provider. But it will be a big loss for your business. That is why give them reasons to entrust their dining needs and requirements to you for an extended period.
- Simple Loyalty Program is the Key
Consumers are accustomed to the concept of obtaining reward points for every purchase they make. Therefore, you do not have to exert effort to instruct them on the mechanics of a loyalty program, helping you save some cash over time.
For that reason, your target customers will adapt to your specific program without a hard time. You can also guarantee a better user experience that clients would enjoy.
With many ideas for a restaurant program, including gift cards into your offerings should be on top of your list. Aside from giving every customer the option to claim whatever reward they prefer and like, here are the other reasons you should provide gift cards:
- A gift card allows customers the choice to pick a particular menu they crave. Usually, restaurants preselect a menu themselves. A gift card can break this norm, which is extremely convenient for your diners of all ages.
- A gift card provides clients the freedom/right to employ and enjoy a part of it and use the rest for future dining experiences.
If you do not have a gift card yet, do not be left behind by your competitors. Incorporate a gift card as soon as possible to retain your loyal customers.
- Try to Offer Well-Tailored Experiences
Everyone loves discounts. But if you plan to offer a loyalty program, be sure to give your all. Aside from discounts, take your clients’ dining experience to the next level. A customized reward will be your best bet.
You can surprise your customers with something free, delicious, and nutrient-packed during their birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and other special events. That is why you have to study your clients to personalize your loyalty program and services according to their unique requirements and goals.
A recent Bond Loyalty Report revealed that clients enrolled in a loyalty program with a great level of personalization tend to recommend a particular brand and spend more to increase their loyalty points.
- Create and Build a Mobile and Digital Strategy
Many people are switching to the online world, so it is no surprise that customers interact with restaurants digitally. Unfortunately, establishing an internet presence is not easy. This is where a mobile couple can come to your rescue. When done right, you can gather your clients’ preferences and information to provide a customized experience, establish loyalty, and even promote customer retention. Yes, everything is possible with a mobile or digital visibility.
- Properly Orient or Train Your Staff
A restaurant loyalty program is effective in retaining potential customers. Do not forget that your employees should be well-trained before implementing a loyalty program to increase your success rate. You should conduct a few hours of training before anything else to make them know what they are doing during the process.
Provide a restaurant loyalty program today!