Restaurants want to retain customers as that is a way to retain profitability. Happy customers will come back on their own. When guests sign up for the loyalty program of a restaurant, the more times they visit, the more money they spend, and more loyalty programs they get. The pandemic forced the restaurants to evaluate their strategy and explore new technology options. When the behavior of a customer is rewarded, they will continue to do business with a restaurant. Given below are some loyalty program ideas that a restaurant can integrate into its business.

Using Customer-Facing Devices

A customer-facing device such as a monitor or a tablet gives customers information about their current transaction. The information could be about purchases, payment prompts, or final payment confirmation. These devices allow guests to add their email address and other personal information. Customers also get to know about new items on the menu and the perks of loyalty programs. A simple checkbox with ‘opt-in’ option can help a restaurant to get new loyalty members. 

Loyalty Points in Restaurants

Loyalty points can be given to customers when they spend money at restaurants. For instance, in the Chipotle Rewards program, a customer earns ten points each time they spend $1. The customer also gets surprising rewards in their account. It could be double points or even a free drink. Higher bills mean a higher number of points. Such programs are effective because sometimes customers spend a higher amount of money to get additional points so that they can get rewards. More points act as incentives.

Different Loyalty Program Incentives

The loyalty program incentives should align with a business. The unique flair of a brand should be injected into the loyalty program. A welcome drink for customers encourages them for sign-ups. A reward based on the number of visits also encourages repeat visits. For instance, a free appetizer on the fifth visit can be given to customers. Discounts on the basis of points accumulated are also very popular. Points can also be redeemed for free menu items of their choice. A free delivery code can be an appealing offer for online customers. A branded bag or a mug can also show that a restaurant appreciates its loyal customers. If a customer is given a free treat on their birthday, they would feel very valued. The birthday surprise could be a free drink or instant cash back. 

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Email Newsletters

People love feeling special and for customers who bring in great value, the favor can be returned by giving them access to exclusive offers, such as sampling a new dish on the menu for free. The incentives of loyalty programs can also be highlighted so that it encourages adoption. Emails can offer content that is personalized. For instance, a customer can be given information on exclusive dining experiences. Emails also show that a restaurant values its relationship with its customers on an individual level. Offering tiered loyalty programs can also result in more loyal customers. 

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.