The Importance of Customer Loyalty Programs

The Importance of Customer Loyalty Programs

Owning a restaurant can be a lot of hard work, but it can also be a lot of fun too. It's important to do everything you can to keep your customers happy. It can be exciting if you know what activities you can do to make them want to come back again and again. The best way to accomplish that goal is to create a rewards program that actually works. It's not hard if you can keep everyone on the same page and make the rewards intriguing enough to keep drawing your customers back in.

What Is a Loyalty Program?

A restaurant loyalty program is a unique marketing tool that you can use to reward your most loyal customers with useful perks. With the right type of loyalty program, your customers will feel like you truly value their business and will return again and again to enjoy the rewards you offer. By changing your rewards from time to time, you will keep your customers on their toes making them want to return to see what new perks you have to offer.

Why Do Your Customers Join?

Everyone loves a good value. Whether it's cashback/off, special discounts, free food or a gift card they can share with others, your customers are always looking for a way to get a return on the money they pay every time they visit your restaurant. Your customers also want flexibility. They want to know they have options to choose from when they earn a reward. When you maintain that flexibility, your most loyal customers will come back more often just to see what they can earn next.

Why Is Loyalty So Important?

Loyal customers are a valuable commodity. It's much harder to attract a new customer on your own, but give your loyal customers to brag about you and before long, their friends will be coming in to see what all the fuss is about. This increases your customer base and also increases your revenue. Why is loyalty so important? Because it is an investment in your restaurant like no other. All you really have to do is keep your existing customers happy and they will keep spreading the word about all of the neat things you do for them.

restaurant loyalty programs

How Do You Implement a Successful Loyalty Program?

With many restaurants being forced to close due to the pandemic, it may be quite difficult to reopen successfully. The key to your restaurant re-emerging successfully is to welcome back your old customers while at the same time inviting in a few new ones. Implementing a quality, well-thought-out loyalty program may be the answer to all of your prayers. There are a few key points to remember when coming up with a great loyalty program:

  • Keep it simple – too many conditions and it will feel more like work than fun
  • Give each customer a personalized experience – give them a choice between two or three rewards at each level
  • Offer rewards they really want – gift cards, discounts or free meals, or something they can use at home
  • Make it mobile – Design an app that will allow your customer to find all of the information they need on an easy to use app

The easier and more detailed the plan for your rewards program will be, the more likely it is that it will be successful and your customers will continue to use it for many years to come.

Educate Your Staff to Make the Most Out of Your Loyalty Program

The only way for your loyalty rewards program to work is if you teach your employees how it works and makes sure they can, in turn, teach your customers. There are a few things your employees will have to know.

  • How the rewards structure works
  • How do people want to receive notifications; text, email or app
  • How the app functions and flows from one area to another (earn – reward – redeem)
  • A list of Frequently Asked Questions

And above all, you will want your employees to be able to tell your clients why being a rewards member is so important!

Having a loyalty problem is extremely important if you want your customers to feel valued and appreciated. It's up to you to find a rewards program that is affordable for you and valuable for your customers.

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