Today, people often frequent the same restaurants that they know and love. There are ways to reward that loyalty to your business by establishing a restaurant loyalty program – It is straightforward enough.

Here we’ll look at the benefits of a program like this for your business and your customers, as well as the steps to get started.

Why Reward Loyalty?

Depending on your location, you may be competing with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of other restaurants. When diners choose to come to you more than once, it says that they like what you’ve got. So, the customers who most frequent your restaurant will also be the most likely candidates to join your rewards program.

Give Back To Show Appreciation

Offering loyalty rewards to guests gives them incentive to return more frequently to a restaurant they already enjoy regularly. This can transform diners into once a week or even more than once a week patrons.

Other things to do are giving little perks like longer happy-hours for rewards members or freebies and earned points to use on a total bill, or individual items. Do, however, keep the rewards simple and narrow; yet clear to all diners, even those not yet in the program.

Ways To Implement The Program

Here are the most common ways to implement a rewards program.

Smart-phone App – this is the most common and one of the more effective ways to start your program. Have a cell phone app that allows members to “check-in” or scan their bill to get points. They can then also choose different rewards right from the app and present them when ordering or when getting the check.

Loyalty Credit Cards – this is a program where customers apply for an actual credit card that gets them rewards from your business when they use it. Think of Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts Rewards Visa Cards that patrons can add money to and then use that card to spend money while adding up points or stars.

Punch Card – this old fashion yet effective way keeps technology out. A punch or stamp card works like this — offer the tenth coffee free after you buy nine cups, or a discount after 5 visits. The main drawback is that some people will not want to or will forget to carry their card all the time.

Receipts – this sort of program allows users to scan or photograph their receipt and send or upload it to receive points based on the total value of the bill. This is a great way to use technology without necessarily having a smart-phone app developed.

Automatic Point System – this utilizes your restaurant’s Point of Sale system where you run cards to offer different rewards. By entering their email or phone number patrons receive automatic point updates when paying a bill. This is very hands free and doesn’t require the diner to do much. You can then use this to give special gifts like a discount on their birthday, or buy one get one after a few visits, etc.

Make Your Loyalty Program A Success

Simplicity is a big factor when it comes to this rewards program success. The less work your diners have to do to gain and use points, the better off that will make them feel and more likely to keep it going.

Keep Rewards Attainable – don’t make some ridiculous rewards that will require hundreds of dollars spent to receive. Keep it low and reachable, for example $5 off every $100 you spend, or $25 off every $500 Spent.

Get Customer Feedback – the more you know from actual customers using the rewards program the better. Offer 5% off for filling out a short survey after they’ve been using the program. Sometimes you won’t even need to give an incentive, but it always helps.

Utilizing a rewards loyalty program is a great way to maximize your profits and also increase the conversation and popularity of your restaurant without making menu changes or other changes. Restaurants have many different ways to succeed, and a rewards loyalty program may be just the fit for your business.

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