June 29, 2023
Devn Ratz

Benefits of Having a Custom Loyalty Program In Restaurants

Offering a custom loyalty program keeps customers coming back. Restaurant loyalty programs can also turn loyal customers into referral advocates for your restaurant, boosting revenue, cutting costs, and much more. Ultimately, loyalty programs increase restaurant sales and grow engaged customer numbers.

Restaurant owners can use custom loyalty programs to boost the metrics that matter most to restaurant marketing and sales teams. Before you choose its restaurant management software, check out how these programs can benefit your restaurant below.  

Key Takeaway: Custom loyalty programs for restaurant customers fuel better restaurant KPIs like customer retention, customer satisfaction, and acquisition.

Custom loyalty programs come built into Revolution Ordering's food tech.

What is a Custom Loyalty Program?

A custom loyalty program for restaurants offers rewards to customers for frequent buying and repeat purchases. Often, they combine CRM and loyalty program information to launch the reward system. From the perspective of restaurant owners, it effectively encourages customers to buy often and engage more deeply with the establishment.

Most simply, a custom loyalty program provides an incentive for customers to come back for more meals or deliveries. As a useful form of restaurant marketing, custom loyalty programs can be an effective customer retention strategy.

More than 60% of customers say they're willing to join custom loyalty programs with the brands they like. In return for points or rewards, customers get discounts, new products, rewards, or other exclusive perks. 

Benefits of Customer Loyalty Programs

Every business benefits from loyal customers. In that sense, every restaurant stands to gain from rewarding their customers through these programs. They offer a way to capture customers and differentiate within a competitive market. 

Loyalty programs mostly seek to add business. But, there are many more benefits to these programs than additional dollars. Custom loyalty programs bring clear boosts to the most important indicators of restaurant business success. 

Higher Customer Retention

With a custom loyalty program, your restaurant can show more value to its customers. As customers earn points or rewards on purchases, they learn to stick around. This is a great method to improve customer retention. Loyalty systems also make it rewarding to increase spending, making average ticket metrics follow suit.

Imagine the chain restaurant that offers rewards for weekly or monthly purchases. Then, consider the impact of offering loyal customers a free meal or restaurant gift card as a reward for their consistent business. Whatever you do, make customers feel valued.

Better Customer Satisfaction

Customers make decisions to dine with restaurants on much more than price, convenience, or proximity. They form emotional connections with brands and become interested in ways to engage. Custom loyalty programs offer engagement beyond the restaurant POS system.

When customers feel appreciated, more than 80% of customers are highly motivated to stay loyal. Additionally, most of those same customers (83%) are willing to spend more at your restaurant as a result.

Improved Customer Acquisition

When programs include referral bonuses and promotions, they can increase traffic to your restaurant by leveraging existing loyalty. Customers will recommend the program to friends and family. This draws in new business without added customer acquisition costs.

Today, the cost for acquiring a new customer can be as much as 500% to 2,500% more expensive than keeping the ones you already have. Referral programs make it easy to cut costs while stacking on new revenue through loyalty.

Types of Custom Loyalty Programs for Restaurants

As a marketing tool, restaurants launch customer rewards programs to their custom goals and brand needs. Knowing some of the advantages of custom loyalty programs, let’s examine the most common types of rewards programs for F&B businesses. 

Seeing how they work may inspire some creative ideas for your own restaurant business.

Points Programs

Points are simple, common, and profoundly useful. Through collecting points for purchases, customers can redeem their points for free meals, restaurant gift cards, special savings, and more. 

There are many ways to incentivize customers with points that can serve your business the spur in revenue and retention it needs:

  • Reward customers for reviews
  • Let them earn points for posting
  • Give them perks for special dates

Mission Challenges

Some restaurants gamify the customer experience with rewards for streaks or completing “missions.” You can challenge your loyal guests with almost any metric you need to improve—whether it’s off-premise, on-premise, or internal.

These kinds of programs are great for the customer who orders three weekends in a row and the customer who gets a latte everyday. These programs inspire action from customers by getting the most loyal to engage even more deeply than before.

Loyalty Tiers

Helping customers to see the value you bring, a tiered loyalty program for your restaurant gives them a “special status.” Through grouping customers into different “levels” or “memberships,” restaurants encourage them to engage more and more.

In general, these programs offer more benefits to customers who spend or engage the most. This means that customers are given a goal, and they strive to reach the exclusive perks at the top of customer tiers. 

Customer Referral Perks

Referring friends and family can be done for free. But, many customers are more encouraged to bring in business if they gain something in return. 

If you consider it, a slight discount to a loyal customer may be much more effective than traditional marketing. This could significantly spare your restaurant marketing budget.

In exchange for new customers, restaurants can offer loyalty members codes and links for their referrals to place orders for rewards. In this way, customers stay delighted to bring in more and more business over time. 

Discover Revolution Ordering's custom loyalty program features within its online ordering platform for restaurants..

Frequently Asked Questions About Custom Loyalty Programs

As you navigate custom loyalty programs for your restaurant, questions may come up about how to incentivize and launch. Learn what to include in your loyalty program, how to create it, and how much it might cost your business. 

What should a loyalty program include?

Loyalty programs should offer incentives to customers. Restaurants often choose discounts, rewards, or other perks to attract and keep customers. Custom loyalty programs design themselves to encourage repeat ordering, dining, and referral business. 

As you design a custom loyalty program for your restaurant, consider the benefits and exclusive promotions that your customers would appreciate most. If you’re unsure, look to trends in the hospitality industry to see if you can spot opportunities for your program.

How do I create a custom loyalty program?

Before you can create a custom loyalty program, consider your goals as a brand. Define the program's offers and rewards based on your restaurant objectives. Then, using restaurant software, design and launch your program, promoting it across the web.

Some key points to emphasize for loyalty programs are the importance of choosing a memorable name and creating deeper meaning with customers. To do that, you’ll need to strategize and offer a variety of rewards for the most appeal. Customer surveys with strategic customer survey questions for loyalty programs can also help.

How much does loyalty program software cost?

While most setup costs range from $50 to several thousand, restaurant software costs for loyalty programs also vary widely. Some—like Revolution Ordering—keep pricing simple through a flat subscription fee. Others will collect fees per transaction or based on use which becomes expensive at scale.

To control costs while launching a custom loyalty program for your restaurant, demo Revolution Ordering’s online ordering software. Our suite is smartly priced and comes with a proprietary rewards system.

Revolution Ordering can launch and promote custom loyalty programs for enterprise brands.