Everyone knows it is more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to get your current customers to buy more often. There are a few ways to accomplish this but today I am going to concentrate on restaurant loyalty programs.
A restaurant loyalty program is a program that your restaurant puts in place to get your customers to order more often. You do this but putting in place a certain incentive to get them to order. I have tried a few different variations of this and I will tell you the one that works best for me at the end of this article.
What are Restaurant Loyalty Programs?
Restaurant loyalty programs are meant to increase the number of times a customer dines at your restaurant or increase their ticket price. They are designed to keep you loyal to that brand or restaurant. If you are a restaurant startup this is something you should implement right from the get go. It’s a good way to increase your customer base quickly.
Types of Restaurants loyalty programs
There are several different types of restaurant loyalty programs and just because one way works for one restaurant doesn’t mean it is going to work for the other. You may have to try a variation of different loyalty programs until you find the right one for you.
Examples of Restaurant Loyalty Programs
Punch Cards -
This is probably one of the oldest loyalty programs out there. I can remember going to Sub Way with my mom growing up and getting a stamp for our loyalty card. It is that simple the customer gets a punch card or stamp card and every time they come in to your restaurant they get their card stamped or punched. After a certain number of visits you get rewarded.
Integrated into Point of Sale system
If you have a point of sale system it is best if your loyalty program is integrated into it. It makes it a lot easier to track the customers balance. It also makes it easier for your customer to use their points they have accrued.
Bring back a certain number of Business cards -
A local restaurant in my town had a loyalty program that involved their business cards. Every time a customer would order they would receive a business card once they customer collected 10 cards they would get a free meal. This loyalty program was simple and yet it worked.
Save a certain amount of pizza boxes -
B.C. Pizza had a loyalty program that involved saving ten pizza boxes. Once you collected ten pizza boxes you received a free meal.
Save a certain amount of menus -
Every time a customer gets an order you give them a menu once they collect 10 of them they get a free 2 topping large pizza.
Purchase a certain amount of food -
This restaurant reward program has to do with how much food you purchase. For instance every $1 you spend you get 2 points. After you collect so many points you can put it towards your next purchase.
Try a certain amount of different menu items
This is similar to the punch card. Some restaurants will give you a card and after you try an item on their menu you get a stamp. Once your card is full you can use it towards your next purchase. This one is good if you want people to try all the items on your menu. It gets people talking about your different menu items.
After every purchase a customer gets a raffle ticket to put in the fish bowl. At the end of each month you pull one to three names out of the fish bowl. The winners receive a free meal or whatever you decide on.
This is a restaurant loyalty program that is tied right into your point of sale system. Every time they order the system keeps track. Every time they reach a certain milestone in sales they are rewarded with something free or 2 dollars off something. It did work decent but when I compared how much the system cost to how much of a return I was getting it didn’t make sense. My sales where the same as before I started the program, and when I stopped doing it my sales remained the same and no one complained. That tells me the system wasn’t vary popular.
Other restaurants have had externally good luck with repeat returns. Just because it didn't work for my restaurant doesn't mean it won't work for your.
Honeycomb loyalty program is for people that already Revention as their point of sale system. Honeycomb is great though because it integrate with Reventions online ordering system, and their newly released self service ordering kiosk. Like other loyalty programs customers can earn rewards by ordering items, balance of the purchase, or by number of visits. Customers can also enroll on all their platforms.
Everyone of these loyalty programs I mention above I have tried. You want to know the one that works the best for me? Menus, I send out a little yellow menu with every meal and at the bottom it says save 10 of these and receive a free Large 2 Topping pizza. These yellow menus stand out and are usually left all around their house. When the customer sees the yellow menu from across the room they think of my restaurant without even seeing the menu. When I run out of these yellow menus people complain and want two next time they order. That right there tells me it is working.
Every restaurant should have some kind of reward program for their customers.
* results may vary