Take your Restaurant Loyalty Program to the Next Level with This Summer’s Best Practices
As temperatures soar, so do hopes that the strong restaurant sales of spring will continue into the summer. While the general public still harbors uneasy feelings towards the pandemic’s impact, pent-up demand for travel and a desire to return to normality is on the rise. With this shift in mindset, many concepts are taking a second look at their restaurant loyalty programs and are crafting their customer acquisition campaigns for a unique and competitive summer.
TIP #1 RAISE THE STAKES WITH REFERRALS
For any restaurant, a strong referral program within a loyalty platform is vital. To keep customers engaged with the brand, loyalty points can be awarded for various recommendation activities – like account creation, social sharing, and referrals that convert to sales. The best utilization of a referral program is when you reward for referrals. Consider a tiered program where guests refer members in order to receive additional benefits or derived rewards. Restaurants can capture mindshare by sending referral reminders to all guests who have visited over a period of time, re-engaging with lapsed customers, or by targeting customers with a referral message while they are still within the four walls. This expands your touchpoints to a larger network, including co-diners of the loyalty member or even family members. By reminding past and current guests to refer you, you ensure that you are engaged at every touchpoint no matter where they are on the customer journey.
TIP #2 LOCALIZE YOUR RESTAURANT LOYALTY PROGRAM
Let loyalty lead your local restaurant marketing efforts by incorporating it into your upcoming events and community outreach. Encourage loyalty program sign-ups when you are in the community either by providing printed offers (with unique generated codes) or by encouraging opt-ins into your loyalty program. By offering unique coupon codes that you track through your loyalty platform, you are better able to calculate the rate of conversion and the impact of the LRM activity. Generate unique campaigns categorized by location, franchisee, or even by trade area to deliver trackable, data-driven results at the click of a button. Incorporate it into your new restaurant opening plans and manage return during opening week, allowing you to control the traffic and maintain operational standards. A loyalty platform is a great way to manage your LRM strategy and drive better results from your community.
TIP #3 3RD PARTY LOYALTY REWARDS
With the rise of 3rd party delivery, many operators have felt the pinch of not being able to engage with their customers in a 1:1 way. Utilizing your loyalty platform, you can bridge the divide of the 3rd party partner and drive more opt-ins into your program. Create bag stuffers or custom menus that have unique messaging that directs customers to download the app for exclusive rewards. Collect feedback and offer incentives that encourage the diner to order directly or dine-in. By driving 3rd party interactions, you take back control of your customer and have the ability to grow their total lifetime value.
TIP #4 SOCIALIZE WITH LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Loyalty is no longer just a transactional program. The marketers who truly embrace social loyalty by encouraging their followers to engage with each other, as well as the brand, are the concepts who are creating true loyalists. By connecting your social following with your loyalty program, you can aid its growth and even create viral moments. Consider using both paid and organic tactics in your approach by offering a unique coupon code on Facebook Offers or by setting up a tastemaker program to track and manage social media influencers. Not only can you track benefits from programs that often seem unquantifiable, you also provide your social partners with tangible offers that add value to their followers.
TIP #5 LIMITED TIME OFFERS
Everyone loves an exclusive offer, and you can reward and recognize your loyal fans with a rich mix of campaigns through your loyalty program. The best platforms allow you to create customized experiences for segments of your fanbase, no matter where they sit on their purchasing journey. Craft bundles that create value for a guest or seasonal items that can attract and improve lifetime value. Surprise and delight them with special promotions or focus on experiential items, such as exclusive menu offerings available for a limited time. Limited time offers provide restaurants the opportunity to build purchase frequency, lift check size and attract new customers, all key components to a loyalty program’s success.