July 9, 2023
Devn Ratz

The Enterprise Restaurant’s Guide to Loyalty Programs

Looking to attract and keep customers? Enhance your loyalty programs with our guide. Explore the impact of marketing, rewards, and surveys on restaurant loyalty.

Incentivize customers to spend more with custom loyalty programs. Boost customer satisfaction and improve acquisition with loyalty programs. Learn about points, mission challenges, loyalty tiers, and referral perks.

Then learn how to assess performance, enable omnichannel ordering fulfillment, and offer rewards. You’ll see why it’s smart to integrate your restaurant CRM and loyalty programs for enhanced customer insights.

Our restaurant loyalty program guide covers everything from gift card rewards to excellent survey questions and retention approaches for restaurants. Get these insights for your enterprise food brand below:

  • 4 ways to implement CRM and loyalty programs
  • 3 systematic approaches to customer retention
  • 5 digital-first customer acquisition techniques
  • 5 competitive advantages of feedback surveys
  • 20 customer survey question examples
  • 6 restaurant gift card marketing ideas
Key Takeaway: Loyalty programs maximize profits and customer satisfaction. Use them to promote positive experiences and influence higher margins.
Download the complete guide to restaurant loyalty programs from Revolution Ordering.

Why Read This Guide to Loyalty Programs?

Each section will show you a clear connection between customer retention, acquisition costs, and restaurant technology.

In the end, you can use this guide to command lower costs, higher sales, and better experiences. Use data-driven insights and personalized marketing strategies through our reporting and analytics.

Start growing your engaged customer numbers today. Get a demo from Revolution Ordering, or grab our free eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Loyalty Programs.

Custom Loyalty Programs

Businesses benefit from loyal customers. Loyalty programs can help capture and retain those customers in a competitive market. With effective restaurant promotion, loyalty programs improve important indicators of restaurant success.

Keep Customers Coming Back

Custom loyalty programs show customers how much a restaurant values their business. Customers earn points or rewards on purchases, leading to better retention rates and increased restaurant sales.

For example, a chain restaurant could offer rewards for weekly or monthly purchases. Customers who are loyal could receive a free meal or restaurant gift card. It's important to make customers feel valued.

Make Customers Happy

Customers choose restaurants based on more than just price, convenience, or location. They also form emotional connections with brands and want to engage with them. Custom loyalty programs provide opportunities for engagement beyond the restaurant POS system.

When customers feel appreciated, they are more likely to stay loyal. Over 80% of customers are highly motivated to stay loyal when they feel appreciated. Additionally, most of those customers (83%) are willing to spend more money at your restaurant.

Attract New Customers

Loyalty programs can attract new customers through referral bonuses and promotions. Customers recommend the program to friends and family, bringing in new business.

Acquiring new customers can be very expensive, sometimes up to 2,500% more expensive than retaining current ones. Referral programs can help cut costs while bringing in new revenue through loyalty.

Attract the majority of willing customers through loyalty programs built into food tech from Revolution Ordering.

CRM and Loyalty Programs

To make your restaurant more profitable and effective at marketing, connect your CRM and loyalty program. This benefits your brand, staff, customers, and revenue management. Revolution Ordering's online ordering for restaurants makes integration easy.

1. Watch Customer Interactions

A customer loyalty profile within restaurant CRM software helps you see all interactions with your customers, whether they are on-premise or off-premise

With seamless POS integration, your loyalty CRM can track every transaction and choice made by customers through their phone number, email, or account. This gives you a complete view of your customer base and loyalty program performance.

2. Create Personas for Increased Loyalty

Restaurants can divide customers into specific and targeted groups based on their purchases, preferences, or custom interactions. This helps businesses to retain customers and promote digital menu ordering or in-house service. 

Use this food tech to divide customers along profitable lines, personalizing your promotions and communication accordingly.

3. Use Omnichannel Ordering Integrations

Revolution Ordering can enable off-premise, omnichannel order fulfillment. This simple and seamless integration allows you to track transactions across every channel. In many ways, you could call it a digital transformation.

Our tech merges your POS system, restaurant CRM, and other data in your location’s systems. Combining your insight leads to enriched customer loyalty and more control over your profitability. It’s also an effective way to improve restaurant operations.

4. Combine Customer Data and Business Intelligence

To support your loyalty program further, unify your business intelligence. This will give you a better look at order histories, discount usage, restaurant food costs, and other operating expenses.

Revolution Ordering's reporting and analytics support is available every day of the week to help you see the ways online ordering increases profits and savings.

Key Takeaway: To improve profitability and marketing effectiveness, connect your CRM and loyalty program. Revolution Ordering's online ordering for restaurants makes integration easy.
Demo the online ordering software that includes proprietary loyalty program software.

Customer Retention

If you're a restaurant owner or manager looking to improve customer retention, three important stages of the customer journey will help: monitoring, ordering, and rewards.

Follow these stages with care, and you can create an effective loyalty program that keeps customers coming back. You’ll begin with a critical restaurant KPI in the first step.

1. Monitor Restaurant Retention

To constantly monitor customer retention, gather customer data and analyze it to determine if customer loyalty is increasing or decreasing.

First, choose a period of time to explore and gather data analytics on each of these: starting customers, new customers, and total customers for that period.

Calculate the retention rate using this formula:

Retention Rate = (Starting Customers - New Customers) / Total Customers.

By monitoring performance in this way, data-driven decisions can be made to improve customer retention (or even guest retention).

2. Offer Ordering Options

Improving customer engagement and spending crucially involves offering multiple ordering options, usually through online ordering software. Customers engage different channels, such as your website, phone, text-to-order, or third-party app integrations, creating an omnichannel presence.

This helps customers order from you and increases the chance they’ll choose your restaurant over competitors. By offering support and orders through multiple platforms, new customers who discover your brand can be attracted and converted into loyalty programs.

3. Treat Your Customers

To keep customers returning, one of the best ways to incentivize customer loyalty is offering rewards with restaurant branding. Think points for every dollar spent. You can also use discount codes, special offers, access to VIP events, or early invitations to new programs.

To improve customer loyalty through customer rewards programs, restaurants can also use points, tiers, or streaks and gamify customer surveys. Restaurants usually offer a more personal experience to reduce customer turnover rates.

Multiply customer retention rates with loyalty programs that cut marketing and sales expenses.

Customer Acquisition

Acquiring new customers for your restaurant is important and requires implementing marketing strategies. 

You can use both paid and unpaid methods to lower restaurant prime cost and increase sales. It's best to use a combination of methods to complement and enhance the results of your restaurant marketing strategies.

1. Bolster SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Improving your website's rankings for key terms in "nearby" and "restaurant" searches can help bring in new business. 

Invest in restaurant SEO to appear at the top of those search results. This brings in more customers, orders, and interest.

2. Leverage Social Media

Marketing through social media can increase awareness for your restaurant and showcase its personality. Use unique, high-quality content to build exposure and interest. 

Customers can discover your restaurant through social media and participate in customer surveys for a reward, bonus, or privilege.

3. Use Paid Advertising

Paid search ads (PPC) can help your restaurant appear at the top of search engine searches–immediately. 

Restaurants advertise locally to catch the attention of users searching for quick dining options, but also niche interest like “fine dining.” Paid strategies target the terms that new customers use to find you.

4. Add Referral Benefits

Your existing customers can help you acquire new ones. Create a referral program to motivate customers to bring new guests and offer gift cards and restaurant discounts.

5. Launch Online Ordering

Many customers prefer online ordering for contactless hospitality. It makes them feel a sense of satisfaction and trust to know you care about their convenience and safety.

Adopt digital menu ordering on your website with integration to POS systems for operational efficiency to tap into this growing market.

Key Takeaway: Create customer acquisition cost reduction with restaurant loyalty programs to market your brand across platforms and people.
Revolution Ordering integration comes with loyalty program software for enterprise restaurants to demo.

Customer Surveys

Customer surveys are a useful tool for restaurants. They can help restaurants to understand their customers' needs and preferences. Here are some of the top reasons why customer surveys matter:

Brand Connection

Surveys can help restaurants build up their devotion and loyalty by demonstrating that they value their customers' opinions. This can be good for restaurants looking to separate themselves from the look and feel of competitors.

Proven Innovation

Surveys offer precious insights into customer preferences and help you make better decisions about what products to offer. Survey data can tell you when to introduce new offerings and how to help them sell or get more orders.

Repeat Business

Surveys assist managers in forecasting customers' needs, allowing them to tailor their offerings and services to better meet those expectations. This can lead to more repeat business and a better customer experience.

Customer Insights

Surveys reveal a wealth of intelligence about customers' habits and lifestyles. This information can support customized digital ordering and enhanced loyalty programs that meet the ideal requirements of customers.

Better Value

Loyalty programs that offer good value, rewards, or special privileges easily attract and retain customers. 

By getting customers to spend more through custom loyalty programs, restaurants boost satisfaction and improve acquisition rates while lowering operating expenses.

Loyalty programs massively affect profits, adding a large boost with Revolution Ordering.

Customer Survey Questions

When creating survey questions, remember that it's up to you to ask engaging questions. Your customers don't have to give you great feedback: it's your responsibility to design questions that get them interested, excited, and engaged.

To make strong customer survey questions, ensure you cover important areas like who your customers are, what they do, how they feel, and why they do what they do. 

You should also use different types of survey questions to collect more depth in responses.

Questions about Who Your Customers Are

These questions ask your customers' about statistics like their income, education, and race. Use open, positive, and inclusive questions to learn more about your customers:

  • How old are you?
  • What's your job title?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have kids?
  • What's your average yearly income?

Questions about Your Customers' Habits

These kinds of questions help you understand preferences and patterns. Use them to learn why your customers chose your business (and why they might keep coming back):

  • How often do you order food online?
  • Do you prefer ordering food on your phone or laptop?
  • How important is sustainability to you?
  • How do you feel about our restaurant's service and options?
  • What do you like about dining with us?
  • What didn't you like about your last visit or order?

Questions about Customer Satisfaction

These questions give you specific details to improve your business. Customers may not always tell you what you want to know, so ask in different ways to capture the most detail:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied were you with our service/delivery, etc.?
  • Were you mostly happy or unhappy with your last dining experience at our restaurant?
  • Was our restaurant service exceptional compared to other options?
  • How likely are you to return to our restaurant with friends, family, or acquaintances?
  • Will you use our website to place a mobile food order next time?

Open-Ended Questions

These questions let customers give their own unique responses, which can give you more details about their opinions and experiences:

  • How would you describe our restaurant's food offerings?
  • Can our employees do a better job of serving your orders?
  • How could we improve your dining experience in the future?
  • Do you have any comments to add?
Key Takeaway: Improved survey questions help restaurants steer customer retention, improve customer experiences, and develop programs through insight.
Accelerate your customer loyalty program with an expert guide to custom restaurant loyalty.

Restaurant Gift Cards

Restaurant gift cards remain an effective, easy way to engage with customers and encourage them to come back. To promote your gift cards and ensure they succeed for your bottom line, try these six strategies:

1. Offer Different Amounts

Offer a range of gift card values to attract customers to your restaurant with different budgets. This will encourage them to spend more on their visits.

2. Advertise Everywhere

Promote your gift cards both online and offline. Advertise them on your website, social media, and in your restaurant. Display restaurant gift cards prominently to encourage customers to buy.

3. Reach Subscribers Directly

Make instant email marketing work for you. Send updates to your email and text subscribers to let them know they can buy gift cards quickly and easily. Sweeten the deal with a discount in exchange for bundled buying. 

4. Encourage Frequent Gifting

Encourage customers to buy gift cards to give to others, as well as for themselves. There should always be an occasion for getting a collectible, special, rewarding card. Remember customer birthdays and special holidays to convince them to share the gift of your restaurant.

5. Motivate Your Staff

Train your staff to promote your gift cards and offer discounts on them. Encourage them to win customers over with offers, promotions, and incentives.

6. Personalize Card Designs

Create a unique design for your gift card that reflects the experience of your true customer profile. Use colors, restaurant branding, and messaging that speak directly to them.

Discover enterprise-level loyalty programs for restaurants through the complete guide from Revolution Ordering.