Create a Successful Rewards Program
Restaurants have been especially hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, from forced closures over the past year to severely restricted dine-in seating. They’ve struggled to make up the lost revenue by other means. Now restaurants must streamline their existing costs using a rewards program to make extra money to keep the doors open until we beat the virus.
Focus on your most loyal customers. They’re a priority during hard times because they’re not only responsible for keeping you afloat for this long, but it costs less money to retain the customers you’ve got than to acquire a new base. Loyalty improves the chances they’ll return to your restaurant in the future and that they’ll spend more on average each time they do. The more positive experiences you have together, the stronger your customer relationships which means a healthier bottom line.
How to Increase Guest Retention
Rewards programs keep customers returning again and again. They incentivize people to make more purchases than they usually would or come to you over a competitor because of exclusive discounts or rewards. The point of Sales has evolved to where their software integrates these programs to easily tote up customers’ points and automatically apply them to their orders.
There are many rewards to choose from, and the best one for your business depends on your customers and yourself. Some restaurants give a free cup of coffee with every visit; others offer free dessert after a tenth dinner or an appetizer upon sign-up.
Whatever you choose, mobile apps are crucial to any modern program’s success. In the past, customers carried physical cards around that they punched or stamped after each visit. However, this led to overstuffed wallets, torn or lost cards, and frustration when they never got that tenth meal free. Then, digitization: Connecting their rewards to their phone makes it easy to track orders and check points, and it works with online orders, which is hugely relevant while everyone is stuck at home quarantining. It’s just as important to business owners; digital programs save on printing costs and are thus more affordable, plus you can customize it for guests’ convenience.
Additionally, collecting these guest profiles improves marketing efforts. With their contact information put in your system, you can track your best patrons’ favorite foods, times to eat, and more. This informs future promotional campaigns and can even catalyze smarter, more personalized ads and email newsletters.
Take Your Rewards Program to the Next Level
Done right, your rewards program not only helps keep your favorite patrons around but will bring new audiences on board once they hear about your special offers.
- Make sure your staff are experts on the program and in-house Point of Sale devices so they can handle any hiccups.
- Create sales contests to sign up the most customers, generating healthy competition and increased productivity.
- Get guest feedback on the program and your business as a whole to build a more robust marketing strategy over time.
- Set time limits on points. If they expire in six months, it encourages customers to return soon, so they don’t lose out.
- Membership tiers incentivize customers to graduate to the next level for better rewards.
Find out what appeals most to your current customers and lean into it. Good rewards programs increase engagement and customer retention; meanwhile, Point of Sale systems have evolved to meet the modern consumer’s needs. That means integrating rewards programs directly into your technological ecosystem to streamline operations and render workflow more efficient. When your online ordering platform is taking off, customers want an easy way to get those discounts—especially since they might be frustrated with the extra cost of delivery fees.
Get your customers hooked on a rewards program that gives back as much as they put in. Schedule a demo with eatOS to learn how we’re ushering in the future of food service, today.
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