Repeat customers are a good thing, obviously. That’s why many restaurants invest time and resources into cultivating customer retention and loyalty as a part of their larger business strategy. Methods vary from offering a loyalty card program where diners earn points or rewards to using social media to connect with fans and acknowledge brand champions. There are three main, and probably obvious, reasons why you should be incorporating this strategy too.
Obvious Reason #1 — Regulars are Your Best Brand Advocates
Customer retention and loyalty are worthwhile focus areas whether you are just getting ready to open your doors or if you’ve been cooking up good eats in your neighborhood for 50 years.
This is where a comprehensive loyalty program comes in. Customers are highly motivated to return to restaurants where they have a vested interest, that is, in addition to a delicious meal or your great atmosphere. Loyalty rewards, carefully selected to be irresistible to your customers, can bring guests back and make their dining experiences more delightful. These happy patrons are the ones that are in the trenches, talking to their friends and family and becoming your biggest brand advocates. Their reach is exponential and their recommendations matter.
Obvious Reason #2 — Your Marketing will be More Effective
Another obvious reason to focus on customer retention and loyalty is because it will make your advertising, social media and promotional efforts infinitely more effective. The audience demographic information alone like, address, email, birth dates, and dining history alone is worth its weight in gold, allowing you to tailor messaging and promotions at the right time to the right people. A good loyalty program solution will offer integrated marketing services and give you the ability to push promotions directly to your most loyal customers through email, social media or text message.
Obvious Reason #3 — Loyalty Programs are Low Maintenance and Low Cost
Exceptional customer service and consistently great food are the foundation for inspiring repeat visits to your establishment. However, a little recognition and reward, like a loyalty program, goes a long way in building customer retention and loyalty. That’s why loyalty programs are popping up everywhere…and why they are working.
eMarketer featured research from Lab42 that focused on Gen Z and millennial motivators. They found 73% of millennials factored in loyalty programs when it came to choosing where to spend their money.
Compared to traditional advertising venues like radio or television, loyalty programs are on the low end of the spectrum for cost and they are very low maintenance. Most integrate directly into your point of sale system and are essentially hands off once they are implemented and your staff is trained on how to handle the cards.
Don’t Miss the Loyalty Reward Program Boat
It should be obvious that you need to step up your game to stay competitive. If you are looking to revamp the customer retention and loyalty strategy at your quick or table service restaurant, bar or nightclub, then it is a good time to talk with us about our FOCUS loyalty program.