Creating a reward program is one of the businesses' most popular and successful strategies to secure client loyalty. Loyalty programs exist in almost any consumer-facing industry, whether in gas stations, grocery stores, entertainment businesses, or the food and beverage industry. Giving customers a reason to return is a unique tool for any business. Ultimately, it can increase the consumer's lifetime value. Here is why food and beverage loyalty programs are important.
Grocery stores have always been one of the most utilized areas regarding reward programs. Kroger, for example, has a point system where you accumulate points anytime you spend money in the store. You can then use those points at Shell gas stations to earn discounts on your fill-up. It’s a great concept, yet very simple.
Now we are seeing more and more companies not only utilize this concept but have plenty of success with it. The food industry has seen massive success with rewards programs with some popular fast-food chains. Still, we’ve also begun to see a shift into more traditional restaurants. It’s about creating loyal customers and giving them a reason to return to your business.
The food industry's most popular chains like Chipotle and Chick-Fil-A offer reward points through their app. In this app, customers can accumulate points for every dollar they spend. Once they add up, you can use those points to purchase menu items.
An article from Business Insider talks about the importance of rewards programs in the fast-food industry. Chipotle's in-app rewards program has been an enormous success, reaching nearly 23 million members as of publication. While your local restaurant may not be seeing 23 million members in its reward program, it has become valuable enough to experiment with and see how it can increase customer loyalty at any level.
Not only do food and beverage loyalty programs create customer loyalty, but they also provide businesses with important information about their customers. Seeing purchase patterns, how often customers are coming in, and who is coming in the most allows them to focus on what they are doing well and what areas might need improvement. It’s essential to find out why customers are returning and put the pedal to the metal to build on that and attract new customers.
Another article from FSR Magazine talks about the importance of loyal customers. According to Wisely, " Data across millions of consumers shows that the top 20 percent of guests account for 55 percent of sales, and the top 5 percent of guests account for 27 percent of sales”. Those numbers show why it’s so important to create customer loyalty. Easily put – the more loyal customers you have, the more business you will generate.
There are plenty of options regarding the types of rewards programs you can offer. As I mentioned earlier, with places like Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle, the point system is the most common reward program in the food industry. Every dollar you spend accumulates some points that you can redeem for menu items. Not only is this easy to track, but it could entice some customers to spend more, so they accumulate more points.
Another exciting concept is a tiered food and beverage loyalty program. The more frequent you visit as a customer, the higher the rewards you can earn. This is not only an excellent way to increase customer loyalty, but it also helps with obtaining more first-time customers. These first-time customers may be more intrigued to sign up and keep returning if they know the rewards get better the more you return.
Lastly, you can offer discounts and specials to your most loyal customers through these programs. A sort of ‘gift,’ if you will, for continuing to come back to your business.
You are not limited to these options, but they are typically the most common. The best way to experiment is with what is most attractive to customers. Anything that helps attract new customers and increase customer loyalty should be considered a success.
All these food and beverage loyalty program ideas above can be used across the board to help boost traffic within their restaurant or bar. Contact The Fans Place if you want to get more customers to your bar or restaurant and increase their engagement. We’re looking forward to hearing from you soon!