Digital Restaurant Loyalty Programs
Dining establishments know the value of repeat business and are looking for ways to encourage customers to come back again and again. New technology-based restaurant loyalty programs may be just the ticket.
Today’s digital solutions are easy to use and greatly extend customer reach in contemporary and cost-effective ways. The programs provide a new channel to communicate with guests, and they offer a more insightful look at a restaurant’s customer base. They streamline the administrative demands of conventional loyalty programs, allowing restaurant operators to focus on providing superior guest service. Another bonus, because they make joining a snap, is customers will be more compelled to sign up.
Web-Based Points Programs
These programs drive repeat business by awarding points to members. Typically, customers receive a self-branded card that is synced to a POS system and is scanned with every transaction made. In order to track points and monitor progress, loyal customers go to the restaurant’s website and enter their information along with the card number. Consider varying the types of rewards member points is good toward, such as for check-in rewards for visits, monthly rewards for total points accrued, and of course, rewards simply for signing up.
Restaurants can take greater advantage of the tremendous reach of Facebook through credits. There are numerous Facebook games for which players earn credits to advance in-game or purchase virtual goods. Customers can also earn credits toward other digital goods, such as music and movie downloads, by “liking” pages or “sharing” posts. Engaging with customer socially is a sure-fire way to spread positive word-of-mouth about an establishment and draw in a steady stream of new customers.
Mobile Media Programs
Similar to their card scanning counterparts, these card-free programs create ultra-convenient opportunities for frequent diners to opt-in to a loyalty programs. Generating and retaining customer loyalty is easy with branded smartphone apps and QR codes, which allow restaurateurs to engage with customers across multiple touch points. iPhone and Android apps allow guests to easily register for an account and check rewards balances. Also, interfaces are customizable to reflect brands. QR codes can be printed anywhere – receipts, menus, paper placemats, signs – and instantly direct guests to a website via their mobile browser.
Digital loyalty programs encourage restaurant owners to be creative with their rewards. Think beyond discounts and treat perks like privileges. Offer guests attractive rewards that will be valuable to them. Allow program members to sample new menu items before they are available to the public, give them bonus points on special occasions, and entice them with a free appetizer or dessert if they haven’t been by for a while.