5 Questions to Ask About Your Restaurant’s Loyalty Program

Attracting new customers is important, but establishing a loyal customer base brings about lasting benefits. Just a small increase in recurring customers can significantly grow your business.

Today, loyalty is about more than just a punch card. Restaurant owners who rely on digitally-driven, personalized loyalty programs tend to reap the reward — a dedicated, returning customer. Want to know if your loyalty program is effective?

Here are five questions to ask.

1. Does it promote your offerings?

Don’t let new menu items or delivery services go unnoticed. Use your loyalty program to push new dishes as well as your delivery and takeout offerings. Reward loyal customers with free delivery or online order discounts to keep your offerings top of mind.

2. Is it digital?

Cater to tech-savvy customers by integrating mobile platforms with your loyalty program. Baby boomers may still prefer loyalty cards, but many millennials are opting for digital. In fact, 33% of millennials’ say their top complaint about rewards programs is having too many cards to carry¹.

3. Is it personalized?

Effective loyalty programs send customized birthday wishes or loyalty benchmark notifications. Don’t be afraid to get creative with notifications like, “You’re only 10 points away from free drinks on us,” as well as alerts on a diner’s favorite menu item.

4. Is it simple?

Sometimes less is more. In fact, 49% of baby boomers would opt out of a loyalty program if it was too complicated². Instead of adding new features to your loyalty program, keep things as simple as possible. Allow customers to access their loyalty points or rewards balance with just a few clicks or swipes, and you may gain a leg up on the competition.

5. Are there freebies?

Some say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but offering one to loyal customers may help boost business. A Nielsen report found 33% of global loyalty program participants rank free products among their three most-valued benefits. Consider dishing out a free appetizer or branded promotional item to show how much you value your repeat customers.  

The right loyalty program can leave a lasting impression. To get there, collect feedback from your customers to identify which rewards are popular — and which aren’t. By using data to tailor offers and open up cross-channel platforms, you can keep loyal customers coming back for more.

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¹Vantiv and Socratic Technologies

² 2015 CrowdTwist Loyalty Program Report