Loyalty Program Trends in the Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Loyalty Programs

In pursuit of the perfect restaurant loyalty program that reaches the largest amount of regular diners, business owners should keep in mind a few key trends found in almost all current apps of the market.

As with virtually all things found on today’s smartphones, these applications offer a changing set of feature based on new technologies, mobile design trends, and broader trends within the restaurant industry, in order to lure customers in for their next meal. The biggest trends are easy to implement, and just make sense for today’s restaurant businesses.


Check-Ins Are a Crucial Part of the Trendy Loyalty Application

The mobile check-in was invented by Foursquare for its game-like location tracking service, and it took the world by storm during 2009 and 2010. Today, the technology is being used by customer loyalty apps so that customers can report themselves at a restaurant and automatically qualify for loyalty points or special rewards.

This feature uses GPS technology, which assures that the customer is being honest and accurate about their current location at a favorite restaurant.

Also pioneered by Foursquare, the modern “badge” or “sticker” is simply a digital graphic that represents an app user’s commitment to regular dining at their favorite establishment. They might get a new badge for each location they visit, or for each state where they visit one of the restaurant’s outposts.

They might get badges for high visit counts, when they hit milestones like 50, 100, or even 1,000 visits. These marks of honor are worth showing off to friends, and they’re certainly worth honoring in-store for dining discounts, free food, or other bonuses that will enhance a customer’s feeling of commitment and loyalty to their favorite eatery.


Online Ordering is Becoming a Must-Have for Carry-Out Restaurants

It was once acceptable to ask customers to call their orders into a local carry-out restaurant, but times have changed quite significantly since then. Nowadays, everyone from fast food restaurants to local bakeries and sandwich shops is taking advantage of restaurant loyalty program apps that include online ordering with a mobile device.

The good news is that online ordering often results in a more precise and accurate order, and it eliminates the phone call that often takes several minutes. Restaurants are free to produce orders more quickly, which lowers expenses while increasing customer turnover.


The Rising Tide of Mobile Payments Will Change Dining Forever

Though the world of mobile payments is currently in its infancy, this emerging technology will change the way customers interact with their favorite restaurants forever. Already, some of the biggest restaurant chains are allowing customers to place carryout orders and pay immediately.

This eliminates the checkout process in-store, creating greater efficiency for both the business and the person picking up the order. In the future, such features may very well come to more formal dining establishments, giving users the ability to instantly redeem earned discounts and free food as they charge their order to a stored debit or credit card.


Restaurant Loyalty Trends Take Advantage of the Latest Tech

Restaurant owners who embrace mobile applications for customer loyalty are finding a few trends to be most dominant: Location-based services, online ordering, and unique graphics that reward customers for their brand loyalty.

These developments, along with mobile payments, take advantage of low-cost GPS chips, increasingly powerful smartphones, and near-field communication technology that verifies payments, locations, and restaurant visits. These more sophisticated apps accommodate customers in innovative ways, and assure that they’ll go from “new” to “regular” more quickly and enthusiastically than at any time in the recent past.

Comments are closed.