A lot of restaurant owners are turning their interest towards adopting numerous restaurant loyalty program. The reason? To build a strong and loyal customer base of regular clientele. But there are costs to enhance customer loyalty. The very primary question surrounding it is, does it really increase the sales of the restaurant?
The question is not wrong, partially. Because if you think it technically, the same old loyal pool of customers may turn up time to time, but does that mean it increases the number of a new base?
And here my friend lies the tactic of a loyalty program. Word of mouth plays a hugely significant role when it comes to attracting an entirely new base of customers.
Coming back to the point of restaurant loyalty program is pooling in a regular clientele, the trend has been soaring up high since the past few years, specifically, after the prevalence online and mobile.
But what about the times before it? Did the restaurants have any loyalty bait back then as well? The answer is yes, they did. At the time when technology was taking its time to brew up for the future, restaurants used stamp cards, punch cards and such other things to build regular customer base.
The patrons were expected to/ or instead required to have the cards with them every time they hit their favorite eateries. Needles to say, the cards were indeed of great use, as the users got regular updates and reminders on any restaurant specials. People used to pay to become the members and enjoy the benefits that came in with the membership.
Aspect 1: So, the question remains, how do the Restaurant loyalty program increases sale and in return the clientele?
The great migration to the mobile programs has now taken the responsibility to allure customers towards their favorite restaurants again and again. This is incredibly convenient because people do not have much opportunity to explore new options due to the hectic life. And as a boon, they have the loyalty program.
They can redeem their point at any time, receive exclusive discounts on their favourites and even get free deserts or free trials of new menus. Whoo! And they do increase the sales. And the clientele? Word of mouth does it all.
Aspect 2: Loyalty programs bring back people with more new fans
Continuing with my previous point, a happy customer will always bring in new friends and kin to his or her favorite eating place. Here, the restaurant has got numerous scopes to show the creativity to get the interest of its prospective customers.
Offering discounted membership fees to free membership, the game is at the hands of the diner itself. Customers are the lifeline of any business, therefore to maintain a healthy system of customer relationship must be the primary task.
Aspect 3: What do the loyalty programs fetch customers?
All of these give a sense of belonging, like to an exclusive club (of the restaurant). Benefactors love to enjoy that feeling of exclusivity. I mean, who doesn’t love to get a quick get through when there is a long waiting queue outside the restaurant during peak seasons?
Aspect 4: Loyalty programs give a learning platform to the restaurant program
Before the advent of mobile technology, the restaurateurs found it difficult to sense the true demand of their customers. For successful business growth, understand the psychology of the customers and acting accordingly is something that counts for the long term.
And thanks to the technology today, the digital loyalty programs make it possible for the diner owners to get the taste of their customers’ minds (pun intended)!
On a serious note, latest technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things, have made it possible for the restaurateurs to learn about the customer details like name, address, crucial dates, food preferences, likes and dislikes and what not?
Aspect 5: What about any negative reviews? How to deal with them?
Negative reviews are indeed nightmares for the restaurant owners. Even a single negative review can initiate a turmoil of reputation for the diner.
Face it; every yin has its yang! Therefore, even the excellent loyalty program has to have the specific loophole which, you as a restaurateur must have unintentionally missed while it’s drafting. If that loophole is pointed out, instead of picking a ruckus about it, admit, and if possible, include it.
Acknowledgement serves for the greater good for the reputation of the restaurants, and the step of transformation as per the customer opinion, is brings in unmatched success.
Aspect 6: Enter the digital era of loyalty program
The more digital your online loyalty game will be, the more will be your profit earning scope, there are numerous restaurants out there who provide digital interactive coupons while they are awaiting their food.
The coupons, when they are scratched off (like in animation) create an engaging experience and the best part? They get surprised discounts or perks equivalent to them! Need more? You will always get to enhance restaurant social media reviews for your eatery.
Aspect 7. So how do you manage all the records of all the customers and their data?
Enter the role of restaurant management software. A complete umbrella solution which is designed exclusively for the unified management of restaurant operations. From a central software to the point of sales device to a digitally managed cash register, the software does a bit more.
It also manages the details of the choices and preferences of the loyalty program members & can capture customer data. Now, the job does not sound such hectic at all. All your data is safely secured in the cloud, without the fear of any unauthorized data breach and the headache of manual data management. Even the reviews will be stored carefully, under full privacy.
Aspect 8. Overall advantages
Loyalty programs indeed build a personal-like relationship between the restaurateurs and customers. And as mentioned earlier, a happy base of customers can always bring in more loyalists to the eatery. The initial investment in the modern maintenance of customer loyalty programs maybe costly, but they will be beneficial for the lifetime.
Restaurant loyalty program is here to stay for the eternity, and as technology upgrades to brand new leaf, the programs will become more and more engaging, and for the greater good of both the restaurant businesses and the customers.