To successfully launch a digitally supported customer rewards program at your restaurant, you may want to consider a few things.
First, it’s important to select the right digital platform for your customers. What does “right” mean? High user adoption is key to any successful mobile application, so you’ll want to choose an option with features that drive this. For example, apps that use phone numbers generally have higher adoption rates. Think about your target customer and identify features that will resonate well with them.
Next, consider a system that lets you customize rewards using customer data. You might find that rewarding users based on the amount they’ve spent at your restaurant is more effective than rewarding them on a per-visit basis. Why? Because it more accurately recognizes high-volume and high-impact customers.
To tap into these customer insights, you’ll want to select a platform with a robust marketing suite—one that tracks and allows you access to valuable segmentation information.
Once you’ve selected the right supporting platform or loyalty-card app, deciding on the reward structure, designing the interface and promoting your rewards program will help drive a successful launch.
Keep in mind that it’s important your reward offerings match your brand. For example, if you’re running a fast-casual café, a free coffee every 10 visits might make sense. On the other hand, if you have a multi-unit restaurant organization, a discount based on the amount a customer spends may be a better option.
Reward customers with incentives that feel true to your business, and don’t overthink the perks—people love free stuff, so it's hard to go wrong. After curating a visual interface that aligns with your restaurant’s aesthetic, it’s time to market your digital punch cards to your customers!
Leveraging digital punch cards for a customer loyalty program unlocks possibilities to better understand customer behavior at your restaurant. This ultimately strengthens long-term customer loyalty.
“With the pandemic, our to-go orders went up and every time you order on our app, it counts your loyalty, so it's pretty seamless for people,” said Alex Brounstein from Grindhouse Killer Burgers. “You can even scan your barcode at our register—people think it’s pretty straightforward. Ten visits and you get a free burger.”
Gone are the days of paper loyalty cards. Digital platforms make it easy for customers to earn rewards and for you, the restaurant manager, to gain insights into what’s important to them.