Restaurant Reward Program Ideas

Restaurant Reward

Many restaurants sacrifice profits and do not increase loyalty or differentiate themselves from the competition by resorting to price coupons to drive traffic. Almost every pizza restaurant offers money-saving coupons. Pizza restaurants are not the only businesses that are guilty of those cash drawing promotions.

Restaurants need to stop encouraging their customers to look for the lowest price and start getting full-price by maximizing customer value. People want better value. That does not have to mean the lowest price. Receiving more for your money is a better restaurant reward.

Digitizing Restaurant Reward Programs

Several ways of increasing sales without having to cut prices are available. Loyalty Card Promotions or Frequent Customer Programs are good examples of a restaurant reward. The technology of today makes that very user friendly. Restaurant marketing apps are available that will keep track of customer activity. Customers can be informed how far they are into the program and how to access the rewards when they are earned.

Rather than free food, offer unique gifts. The restaurant reward should be perceived as having value, cannot be easily copied, and will last. Examples are imprinted sports bottles, duffel bags, beer mugs, or T-shirts that have been designed by a local artist. T-shirts can be ‘retired’ and made collectibles while advertising for the restaurant.

Offering a low-cost gift that has a high perception of value with the purchase of a soft-drink or dessert is another way sales can be increased with gift promotions. The full price of the food or drink item offsets the gift cost. Items such as imprinted pizza cutters, coffee mugs, sports bottles, calendars, free music download cards cost less than $1.50.

Benefits of giving restaurant rewards with a purchase promotion include the following:

  • The program is profitable. The gifts are paid for by charging full price. Extra profit is realized when other items are added to the purchase.
  • Incremental sales will be driven by the appearance of the coupon. It looks different from those offered on websites or weekly shoppers.
  • By not cutting prices, customers are trained not to look elsewhere for a better deal. Cutting prices is neither a good short or long term strategy.
  • Excitement is being created and the restaurant logo is being branded. Every customer, receiving the restaurant reward is a miniature billboard that promotes the restaurant.
  • The promotion is a news event that is worthy of positive press from the local newspaper.
  • Money-saving coupons are seldom the topic of conversation. A gift give away promotion is.
  • There is no external pressure if programs are stopped before beginning another.
  • The restaurant is differentiated from its competition.

Inc. magazine once published an article that said the cost of acquiring a new customer is five to 10 times more expensive than selling to a customer that already exists. Current customers spend two-thirds more than new ones. Loyalty programs are implemented to keep customers. Here are more ideas that might work for a restaurant.

Simple Point System – Points are earned by frequent customers that translate into a reward of some sort. When choosing this option, keep it simple. For example, every $50 earns a free item for the customer.

Develop a Game – After three purchases, customers play a game of chance to win free stuff. They choose one of four cards that give them a 25 percent chance of winning something cool.

Referrals – Distribute cards to current customers to give to family and friends. When a new customer presents the card, the original customer receives a free gift as a thank you for the referral. The new customer gets a card to give to his or her family and friends.

Reflect before making a decision to offer a money-off coupon. A creative promotion will stand out from the competition and be fun. The profits will be higher, excitement will be created, and customers get the best value in the neighborhood.

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