When the pandemic hit the US in 2019, it forced the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry to accelerate its digitalization plans to keep up with consumers’ demands. And they successfully did, in just a few months. Within this period, most QSRs had already established their own application to make it easier for both old and new customers to make an order from their restaurant. Other modes of orders such as curb pick-up or drive-thru were also available should the customers prefer to do so.
With many QSRs jumping onto the digital bandwagon, the need to differentiate themselves from others to provide a better customer experience becomes more important now than ever. And what better way to do so than to create a loyalty program unique to your brand?
In this article, we will be exploring some of the ways in which a loyalty program can be advantageous to your business and how you can leverage it to maximize its benefits.
Benefits of Loyalty Programs
Collection of data
The primary benefit of having a loyalty program is the data that you will be privy to. When customers sign up for your program, you will be provided with a wealth of valuable data pertaining to them. This includes their preferences which you can leverage to come up with personalized and relevant offers.
Some companies use their customers’ past purchases to send them targeted advertisements, in hopes of having them return to buy more from the restaurant. Others, like Starbucks, treat their customers by gifting them something on their birthdays. These customized specials help them feel a sense of connection with the brand which increases customer satisfaction. Most importantly, collecting your customer data allows you to constantly improve your customer experience as you figure out their ordering habits.
Higher Sales and Brand Value
According to a report by Paytronix in January 2021, loyalty program members spent more than twice on takeout as compared to those who do not have a membership. And this is understandably so. Loyalty programs typically provide members with an array of special features, from personalized orders to game rewards. Naturally, this will keep customers coming back for more to see what’s in store for them.
Even better, this increase in order traffic and customer transaction count will work well in your favor as Wall Street is analyzing these, instead of just taking your sales into account. Needless to say, a loyalty program can potentially place a higher value on your brand.
And the bonus? When these programs integrate seamlessly into the workflow of your staff, you don't only get higher sales but a more efficient crew as well.
Higher Customer Retention
As the name suggests, loyalty programs are rolled out to, well, create more loyal customers for your brand. With businesses getting back up on their feet, the competition in the QSR industry will be stronger now more than ever. Especially as restaurants are scrambling to earn back their losses from the pandemic.
Again, loyalty programs provide members with perks that are like no other. As such, this will encourage them to make repeat orders to reap the full benefits of their membership. So, what better way to rise above the rest by retaining your customers through a loyalty program? What’s more, repeat customers spend 67% more than new ones on average. And if you ask us, that itself is a good enough reason for you to start your own loyalty program.
Loyal Customers Can Make Great Hires Too
While this is not the main point of having a loyalty program, it is possible for you to gain an exceptional employee for your restaurant. Think about it - a loyal customer turned employee. Firstly, you can rest assured that they will work their hardest due to their loyalty to the company. Secondly, they are probably familiar with all the offerings your restaurant has to offer so onboarding them might not be too difficult of a task. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
But if you are looking for ways to hire better, Workstream has the solutions for you. We improve your hiring process with features like smart screening, job board integrations, and more so that you get only the best candidates for your restaurant! Schedule a demo with us today and we’ll let you know how we can best meet your hiring needs.
Making It Effective
To make a loyalty program effective, you have to ensure that your application interface promotes a good user experience. It is important that you do not make it even more confusing for your customers as this will only deter them from ordering from your restaurant.
Additionally, consider adding a few extra features that are accessible only to your loyal customers. This will incentivize them to sign up for your restaurant’s loyalty program. You can also come up with special menus that are only available to the members.
Integrating your loyalty program with your marketing strategy is also another way for you to maximize your loyalty program’s benefits. For example, you may choose to build your loyalty program with a social cause. By doing so, you are creating a meaningful program that gives them a stronger sense of connection to the brand. At the same time, you are also letting the wider public know that your brand is a strong advocate for the social cause.
While having a loyalty program can bring about numerous benefits, its effectiveness is also dependent on how you utilize it. As it is just a means for you to create a deeper connection between your customers and your brand, merely creating one and expecting it to work magically by itself is not how it works. Instead, ensure that you have the capabilities to analyze and pull insights from the data collected. Only then will you be able to implement changes to improve your customer experience.
Summing It Up
As you’ve seen above, your restaurant can reap plenty of benefits when you create a loyalty program. Not only will it improve your sales performance but it can also help you continuously improve your service to your customers - something that is very well-valued among them. The key takeaway here? Ensure that you are utilizing your loyalty program the right way as it is not going to work its magic all by itself.
Does your restaurant have its own loyalty program? Let us know!
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Zakiyah is a freelance content writer. She’s a lifelong learner, looking for opportunities to expand her horizons whenever she can. She loves traveling, playing volleyball and reading up on general developments in the industry.