Keeping in mind that today’s loyalty program should focus on engaging your customers, there are many types to choose from.
Adding up the points. One of the most common loyalty programs gives customers points for purchases. When they reach a certain number of points, they get a reward. There are a couple of key things to keep in mind with a point system.
First, make sure you really give them something they truly value. Do you have an item that they always order, maybe a signature dish they love to tell their friends and family about? Giving them a free item could be the perfect reward after they’ve earned a certain number of points. On the other hand, if, after months of accumulating points, they’re rewarded with something they don’t want or value it could affect their adoption and their loyalty.
Second, have a good tracking system and frequently let them know how many points they have. It’s a great way to stay connected with them and good communication will strengthen your loyalty program and should increase the amount of times they visit your restaurant.
Celebrating special days of the year. A lot of customer loyalty programs give customers something on their birthday—and often during the month of their birthday, but why not go further and help them celebrate other milestones? Some examples are: anniversaries (from wedding to the date of their first meal with you), graduations, holidays, new jobs and moves (It’s been a year since they moved to your city? Let them know you care). The biggest advantage of this type of program is the personalized component. When you mark their important dates you’re showing them that you care. And when they get something for free on top of that, you’ll be making loyalty strides. Of course, you’ll need to ensure that any personal information they provide you can be used for these purposes.
Give them an experience. Consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z’s, value experiences. So, you could build a plan that offers them something unique that other customers don’t get. For example, a chef’s tasting menu—that gives customers a more personalized sampling at the chef’s discretion. Or how about a virtual cocktail mixing class with tailored recipes and 20 screens to share with your customer’s crew? The element of surprise will drive them to order more to get that reward. And when you make the experience amazing your customers, especially millennials, are likely to share their experience with a social post—strengthening your mutual connection.
Other rewards to consider:
- Preferential treatment—Busy day of the year? Give them the chance to make reservations before other customers
- Set times—Give your customers rewards using particular times like “this week” or “for the next five days” or “over the weekend”
- Create something unique—Why not do a mixture of various loyalty program types to delight your customers in many ways? Use your imagination and knowledge of what your customers like to guide you.