Many restaurants face a challenge during the summer months, when regular guests may be out of the area on vacation or are taking advantage of the warm weather and grilling at home. Using a guest engagement platform to create innovative campaigns will help drive visits and incremental spend. Check out these five proven ways for restaurants to keep guests engaged and excited all season long.
1) Prepaid meal passes
Last summer, HuHot Mongolian Grill revamped its traditional summer gift card promotion and launched the HuHot Grill Pass. During the month of July, guests could purchase the Grill Pass for 5, 11 or 25 entrees, and the pass was redeemable through the end of the year. Since the guests had prepaid for their entrees, they were more likely to buy additional items like appetizers and desserts when they came in. In fact, the restaurant found that pass purchasers spent 80% more than the cost of the Grill Pass during the redemption period. Because of the initial expense, these passes keep guests coming back again and again.
2) Instant-win promotions
July is National Hot Dog Month, which presented a perfect opportunity for National Coney Island to reward its guests with instant-win prizes. Throughout the month, new and existing program members had the chance to win free menu items like beverages or fries with every swipe of their loyalty card. After winning, guests had 14 days to come back and claim their prizes. This instant-win promotion not only created excitement, but also delivered huge impact for National Coney Island’s business, nearly doubling enrollment and increasing visits by almost 40%.
Giving guests the opportunity to complete a quest in order to receive a reward is a great way to increase transactions. Yogurtland’s Flavor Quest challenged guests to visit and earn stamps in a virtual passport by trying new flavors that were released throughout the summer. The more new flavors a guest tried, the more yogurt they could earn at the end of the quest. In the first year that this promotion was run through the Yogurtland loyalty program and mobile app, participation tripled and 32% of the participants visited once a week or more.
4) Personalized, one-to-one visit challenges
Giving guests reasons to visit their favorite location more frequently is a successful way to increase sales. With one-to-one visit challenges, restaurants can vary the length or the number of visits needed in order to maximize ROI. Whereas infrequent guests might have to make fewer visits over a longer time span to get the reward, more regular diners may be required to visit more often over a shorter period to complete the challenge. Using machine learning to figure out the best challenge for each guest gives restaurants the best chance to truly drive incremental visits during these slower months.
5) Win-back campaign
Summer is a great time to attract guests who haven’t visited recently with a win-back campaign. One particular restaurant experienced great success by sending the richest offers to guests who hadn’t visited in the past 12 months and lesser offers to those who were already actively engaged. During one of its win-back campaigns, the number of visits from infrequent guests increased by 176%. Once these guests have returned, there will be opportunities to keep them coming back all summer.
Based in Newton, Massachusetts, Paytronix is a provider of SaaS customer experience management (CXM) solutions for restaurants and convenience store brands. Through its innovative software design and integrations with more than 30 widely used point of sale systems, Paytronix empowers more than 350 brands across 26,500 locations with the flexibility to build unique, revenue-enhancing guest experiences. Customers benefit from big data consumer insights that Paytronix generates through 1-to-1 engagement with more than 286 million loyal guests—via mobile, social and today’s most innovative digital marketing tools. As a result, customers motivate their guests to increase spend and drive revenue. For more information, visitwww.paytronix.com.