As you know, customer acquisition is hard and retaining customers is even harder. Both are necessary for a restaurant to thrive. The best solution to both is a loyalty and rewards program that’ll pique interest and keep them coming back for more. We’ ve taken a close look at restaurant loyalty programs; what works and what doesn’t, and examine the smartest ways to keep customers coming back to your venue.
We all know how loyalty programs work ― frequent customers earn points, which can be redeemed as some type of reward. The value for merchants behind any rewards program is that it encourages ongoing customer engagement. It creates loyalty.
What You Need to Know
To be perceived as valuable by customers, loyalty programs should have the following:
- Rewards that are quick and easy to accrue;
- Rewards that are considered high enough value and worth the effort of earning them;
- A tangible way for customers to keep track of their rewards progress — e.g. with a loyalty app or card
- Reward points are credit need to be clear (no more vague point systems that no one understands how to redeem!)
For the business owners such as yourself, the reward system needs to be inexpensive and easy-to-use, without big set up costs.
Beyond that, it should be about more than points, and far more than just marketing. A rewards program should create a convenient experience for the customer, that they want to take advantage of and be involved in.
When a loyalty program moves from a card to an app, the ability to interact with customers increases.
Why Individual Loyalty Programs Don't Work
We bet most of the restaurants in suburb have some type of loyalty program, whether it's stamp cards or their own app. They've got the right idea, but are doing it the wrong way. We believe in the power of a rewards system the incentivizes return purchases and ultimately loyalty, but recognize how hard it is for an individual restaurant to run their own rewards program.
This is because it's really really hard to get customers to commit to you when there are so many options near them, and so many new options opening up every few months!
Why Aggregators Work So Well
This is why we believe in aggregators. Aggregators like Liven, create a network of merchants that over 220,000 customers can use their Liven Cash rewards at to purchase delicious food.
Liven is a convenient platform that allows merchants to better market themselves, access new customers and offer rewards for their loyalty.
An aggregator combines benefits for the customers as well as the merchants. For the customers, they get more choice of where they can use their reward earnings which incentivises to eat out more often. For a merchant, becoming involved in an aggregator community like Liven means accessing better exposure rates towards customers. Combining marketing and a sense of loyalty, apps like Liven redefines the dining experience.
Restaurants often operate on slim margins, so ultimately your rewards program should bolster your bottom line, never drain it.