Modern loyalty programs are so much more than just a digitized version of the old-fashioned punch card. Today’s loyalty programs don’t just offer discounts—they leverage machine learning to target guests with the offers and promotions most relevant to them while motivating behaviors that increase revenue. In order to be successful, loyalty programs need to enroll as many guests as possible, encourage them to become active members and drive incremental purchases.
Here are some great techniques that can be built into loyalty programs to boost guest activity and ROI for brands.
1. Experience-based rewards
Some loyalty programs reward their guests by providing memorable experiences. This works particularly well if using a bankable points format. Guests can accumulate their points and then redeem for rewards such as access to exclusive events or the opportunity to redeem points for private tasting menus. Receiving preferential treatment and exclusive experiences makes these guests feel not only valued, but special. Other restaurants using bankable points give members an option to use their points toward a variety of menu items depending on how many they choose to redeem. Giving guests this flexibility to redeem points the way they want encourages them to become more active and engaged in the loyalty program.
2. Tiered birthday rewards
The birthday reward is a staple of most loyalty programs, but it doesn’t need to be the same for all guests. California Pizza Kitchen’s CPK Rewards program offers different birthday rewards for guests depending on their level of engagement. Whereas guests in the lowest tier are rewarded with a free birthday dessert, those in the other three tiers receive a free birthday entree. Guests in the diamond and elite tiers also receive free entrees on their half birthday and earn double points throughout their birthday month. Using a tiered rewards structure for birthdays makes it possible for all members to benefit, but the rich rewards are reserved for guests who visit the most.
3. One-to-one marketing
Loyalty programs need not employ a one-size-fits-all approach. Sending out the same offers and promotions to all guests is not going to drive necessary impact. As the penetration of a loyalty program grows and data is gathered on more guests, restaurants can use these insights to fine-tune their marketing strategy. Restaurants should target each guest with individualized offers and promotions, providing content that is relevant to them while giving the best possible revenue drivers.
4. No card required
Physical cards shouldn’t be necessary for loyalty members to identify themselves. Some alternatives include providing a phone number or email address at the point of sale, using a mobile app to check in or adding a pass to diners’ preferred NFC payment app, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. These options enable guests to be recognized without having to carry another card in their wallets.
5. Catering loyalty
If a restaurant offers delivery, they have likely implemented a catering option or are at least thinking about it. Gaining even one new catering client per week can be the equivalent of more than 20 individual customers. Pairing catering with loyalty is a great way to get to know this group of guests and inspire repeat purchases. But catering loyalty should be kept separate from a regular loyalty program, because having the same rewards structure would result in a lot of free items and an unnecessary loss in revenue. A catering-specific program should be based on the recency, frequency, and average spend of catering orders.
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 490 brands across 24,600 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, visit www.paytronix.com.