Did you know that nearly 60 percent of global respondents said that
loyalty programs affected where they shopped and dined? And, of that 60
percent, 84 percent said they were more likely to visit the retailers that gave
them loyalty rewards than places that didn’t. That’s right; your
guests will come to you more often, and probably spend more, if you offer them
a loyalty card.
Savvy retailers welcome this kind of data, and they use it their
advantage. For you, that’s a fairly simple process. Look into loyalty card
services and get the news out to your customers.
What Fills Those Restaurant Dining Tables?
Wonder what to offer? It’s not hard. The most popular rewards involve
giving the guests something free. Three-quarters of the respondents said that
discounted and free products were the most valuable rewards. Better customer
service or perks are also desirable, but come in second.
So, how do you translate this information into something that you can
use in your restaurant without losing your shirt? Buy 10 get one free options
are always popular. You can limit what is available as the 10th
item, thereby eliminating your most expensive dishes. You can also offer an
appetizer for free with the 10th meal, as those are considerably
Another attractive measure, which eliminates the issue of costs, is
setting a total to reach. For example, when your guests have spent $100 on
food, not drink or service, they receive a coupon of a specific amount. You can
even set tiers, so the more they spend, the better their coupon; $5 after a
total expenditure of $100, $15 after $200 and so forth.
Everyone likes to think that they are special, so you may want to
reserve a couple of restaurant tables for your loyal customers. These tables can be held,
if there is room available, specifically for diners who are part of your
loyalty club. Let them know that they need to call ahead if they want such a
table held, but that the phone call will bump them to the front of the line,
ahead of those who aren’t members of the club.
The final piece of the puzzle is to use the information you get from
the applications to keep in touch with your guests. Let them know of specials,
send them greetings on their birthdays and even offer a small incentive on the
anniversary of the date they signed up. All these little things keep your
guests coming back more frequently and will increase the size of their tab.
A restaurant’s success is primarily built on repeat business. Doing what it takes
to create a loyal following is just part of the equation when you want to
thrive in all sorts of economic climes.