Customer loyalty has become somewhat of an elusive idea in the digital age.

This isn’t to suggest it doesn’t exist. But it does require effort to create.

And, it all begins with creating a great experience for your guests. If you can’t do that, then there’s a good chance your other efforts will fail.

To create profitable loyalty & reward integration for your restaurant, focus on a standout customer experience, then anything else you do will only add fuel to the fire. And, this isn’t as intensive as it sounds. Learning the names and birthdays of your regulars, being attentive of their needs or offering the occasional discount can all go a long way towards building a strong relationship with them.

Now, here are several tactics that can build on your great service.

Start A Loyalty Program

There’s plenty that’s already been said about creating loyalty programs to build more customer loyalty at restaurants. So, there is a common sense aspect to it. But there are some things that aren’t always touched on in the average blog post.

Most importantly, you must know your audience. For some customers, 10 percent off their next bill is perfect. At a pizza place, maybe a “buy two get one free” type offer could work. If your average dish costs more than most restaurants – let’s say $25 and up – you might offer a free meal every time the guest spends $100 with you.

The offer must make sense for your audience. If they aren’t claiming their rewards, there’s probably a reason. The offer is mismatched with their expectations, or it’s just too hard to claim. So, you must tweak your loyalty program until it starts producing results.

Another important factor to bear in mind are technology services for restaurants. Many people use their smartphones to find restaurants, and therefore want their loyalty programs to be mobile friendly.

Create & Maintain Brand Consistency

This might seem ancillary to brand loyalty. But creating and maintaining brand consistency across your channels can have a tangible impact on your business.

Whether you’re a chain or an independent, customers want to know they can count on you for the same quality service and food they’ve come to expect.

When it comes time for your guests to claim their accumulated rewards, make it easy for them to do so. Ensure that your website and social media are well-integrated. Reinforce your messaging through repetition.

If there’s something we can learn Chili’s Grill & Bar shutting down many of its locations last year, it’s that your brand identity matters. Your customers must know who you are and what you’re about.

Hold Special Events

Dining in sometimes goes beyond eating in a great environment with excellent customer service. Holding special events is a great way to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.

Today, restaurants are holding many different types of events. Here are but a few ideas you can try out at your place of business:

  • Live music. Acoustic or jazz acts can work great in quieter environments. Rock bands can be good for pubs and bars. Experiment to see what works best.
  • Cooking classes. Show your guests how to make some of your signature dishes.
  • Live trivia. Get your guests involved in a fun and interactive trivia game.
  • Menu preview. Give your most loyal customers an opportunity to try out new dishes before you add them to your menu.

Final Thoughts

AppInstitute says that 55 percent of loyal customers tell their friends and family about your business.

So, the benefits are clear. Having more loyal customers is good for business and can grow your revenue is a huge margin.

You can increase your profit margin by implementing a program – a few top loyalty & rewards, marketing and customer data partners include Punchh, Paytronix, LevelUp, and Fishbowl.

The exact tactics to use will vary based on your restaurant. If you aren’t sure, survey your audience and try out a few pilot programs.

Integrating A Loyalty & Rewards Program Into Your Business 

If you are interested in implementing loyalty & reward integration for your restaurant, Chepri® can help you accomplish that goal in the most effective manner possible. We are experts at developing highly engaging and comprehensive apps that encourage customer engagement. Tell us about your goals and we can design an application that will turn the occasional customer into a loyal patron.