A Recipe for Repeat Business: 5 Restaurant Loyalty Programs that Cook


A Recipe for Repeat Business: 5 Restaurant Loyalty Programs that Cook

April 2023

Consumers have an endless list of choices for where they can dine. Even if they dined out daily for a year, they would still have yet to make it to half of that list. That goes to show how many restaurants you’re competing against. Standing out from your crowd is essential to keep your business packed with customers.

An effective way to differentiate yourself and attract customers is by offering an attractive loyalty rewards program. A program that will not only incentivize customers to dine frequently but also bring their friends and family along.

An effective loyalty program is essential for any business since it encourages repeat purchases and increased purchase frequency. These activities lead to consistent revenue –which is necessary for companies to survive.

In addition to the financial benefits, a well-designed loyalty rewards program can help build a relationship with customers and increase their loyalty. Your loyal customers are more likely to be brand ambassadors and spread the word about your restaurant, helping to attract even more guests.

In this article, we’ll cover five loyalty program ideas that’ll make your customer come back for more.

Periodic Perks

One of the reasons customers love to eat at different restaurants is for variety. They want new tastes and experiences every time they go out. And usually, they already have preferred orders for each restaurant they visit – so they don’t try out other menu items. This is a missed opportunity for restaurants since they can use this to their advantage.

One way to encourage customers to dine more frequently in your restaurant is by promoting products they don’t often order (or haven’t tried). You can do this by offering different exclusive discounts and promos for specific items every day (or week). This strategy would entice customers to dine more frequently since they can explore new tastes they haven’t tried.

This is also an excellent opportunity to get your slow-moving items moving again.

Seasonal Secrets

Aside from offering periodic perks to your loyalty card holders, you can offer them seasonal secret menu items that are exclusive to them. For example, aside from your typical Christmas bundles, you can create an exclusive menu for your loyalty members. This will create customer delight and increase brand preference.

This strategy works because accessing exclusive and rare products makes people excited. This makes them feel special and valued by brands, which builds loyalty.

Moreover, having an exclusive seasonal menu for members will also encourage non-members to join your loyalty rewards program to access these recipes.

VIP or Priority Seating

One of the worst things about dining out on weekends is when you discover you are visiting your favorite restaurant and there’s a long queue. You’ve been excited about eating there, craving your favorite dishes, only to be disappointed with a long waiting time.

Solve this problem for your loyal customers by creating a priority seating/reservation plan for members. This would make them feel valued and confident that they can eat in your restaurant anytime. This might even encourage non-members to sign-up for your membership program.

Although if you do this, make sure you plan accordingly so that you won’t alienate your other customers.

Foodie Challenges

Create food challenges your customers can join, such as trying a new dish each week or trying all the items on the menu. Customers who complete the challenges can receive rewards such as a free meal, a discount, or recognition.

This is exciting, especially for your loyal customers and other foodies. Being rewarded and recognized is one of the things that people crave. And getting recognized in one of their favorite places is an achievement they’ll share with their friends.

Implementing this idea will help you not only increase purchase frequency from your customers but it’ll also help you introduce most of your dishes as well. Moreover, this would also be an excellent way to gain organic word-of-mouth since challengers and winners will share this with their friends.

Dine and Donate

Encourage customers to dine more often by allowing them to donate a portion of their bill to a local partner charity or advocacy. This feel-good strategy will make customers feel fulfilled whenever they dine with you—making them want to do it more often since they can do something good by indulging in good food.

Dine and Donate strategies are effective, especially if partnered with a worthy cause your customers care about. Another way to make this work is by doing it sporadically so that customers won’t get donation fatigue.

These loyalty program ideas aim to increase customer engagement and encourage repeat dining for your restaurant. It also provides a unique and memorable dining experience for your customers. Overall, these factors are all ingredients to the recipe for success.

A Recipe for Repeat Business: 5 Restaurant Loyalty Programs that Cook