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. 

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 and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.