3 Simple Ways to Boost Engagement in your Restaurant Loyalty Programs

Picture of Chrissy Ockerbloom


The average household in the U.S. has over 21 loyalty program memberships, but only actively uses 44% of these (Cap Gemini). How do you cut through the noise created by paper punch cards, online memberships & Apps? Well, it's not easy. You need to understand your customer, their motivations for coming to your restaurant and then deliver on that every single day. We put together a list of 3 simple ways to boost engagement in your restaurant loyalty programs!

1. If you're going to implement a loyalty program, make it a no brainer.

As a customer, there are hundreds of loyalty programs out there and most of them make it necessary to add another card to my keychain or wallet or download an app onto my phone which is already running low on storage. You can combat this by following along with your local supermarket or CVS. They have implemented extremely low touch loyalty programs that require only a phone number at the point of purchase, making it easy for customers to get rewards without having to remember a card or sign into an app. This write up talks about how PF Changs was able to do something very similar.


2. Have a task in your loyalty program "artifically begun"

Consumer researchers, Joseph Nunes and Xavier Dreze, did a study on two versions of a car wash loyalty program. One loyalty card required 8 washes to get one free and the second had 10 washes but when you signed up, they knocked off 2 right away. Even though both technically only required 8 washes, the 2nd card performed twice as well. Turns out, the brain puts up roadblocks when you are starting a "new" task making it more difficult to stick with, but if it registers that a task has already begun, it's more likely to stick with it. The takeaway here is to give your customers a headstart on that punch card!


3. Get involved on Social

Customer's like to feel important and they also like to voice their opinions. Both of these things can be accomplished on social. Start by making a goal to post 3 days a week on your page of choice (facebook or twitter usually work best). Feature customers in your social pages, create easy contests your customers can complete on-premise and offer specials in order to boost interactions with your pages. Make sure you give your customers a good reason to follow you on social and they will. To boost awareness about your loyalty program, feature customers that have received a free item and then make it easy to sign up right from your social page.

Interested in customizing your restaurant loyalty program? Why not use beacons? Read our white paper below to learn more about how to personalize your customer's on-premise experience!


Download Now