Research suggests that nearly 80% of Australians belong to a loyalty program.

In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve got a card in your purse or wallet that relates to some form of brand points scheme or rewards program. And, chances are, you use it.

If you’re a restaurant owner, are you giving your customers the same ability to become loyal to your brand? Have you even considered it as a marketing option?

Restaurants are increasingly turning to loyalty programs to retain and expand their customer base. But if you remain unconvinced, here are a few reasons a loyalty scheme could increase your business’s sales, big time.

Loyalty programs enable you to connect directly with customers

One of the biggest challenges in marketing is connecting directly with potential and existing customers.

Email remains one of the best ways to do this, and you can certainly reach a tightly defined audience on social media, but loyalty programs result in your brand being ever-present in someone’s day-to-day life.

Whether it’s a points card or rewards app, the presence of your loyalty scheme on someone’s person or as a notification on their phone is a constant reminder that you exist, and there’s no better way to send targeted, personalised messages that will have an impact.

Loyalty programs will make your diners happier – and more likely to return

Customers are always looking for value, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest option on the block.

If you can offer a loyalty program that delivers real, tangible value, it’ll make your customers happier. And, guess what – happy customers tend to spend more and return more often.

Think about one of the simplest and widest used forms of loyalty – the coffee points card. Buy six cups, and you’ll get your seventh free, and when that time comes it’ll put a smile on your face. Oh, and you’ll probably be wedded to the process enough to do so again and again.

Loyalty programs offer great ROI

One of the best things about modern loyalty programs is that they’re not particularly expensive to implement. The simplest – i.e. punch cards – simply require some spend on printing, while the more advanced may already be hiding away in your POS system.

The best advice if you’re heading into a loyalty strategy for the first time is to start small. That way, you can measure the return on investment and increase your effort and the depth of the program if you need to.

We’re confident you’ll want to do just that, too, because loyalty programs deliver significant returns. The increase in repeat visits alone will make anything you spend on printing seem like a drop in the ocean.

A loyalty program can be a differentiator

Sure, your competitors are running loyalty schemes of some form too, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and be unique with your own.

This is what makes loyalty programs so exciting. You can have fun with them and pour the personality of your brand into them. The result? A differentiator, and a reason people should pick you over the competition.

Wrapping up

We hope you’re now sufficiently excited about loyalty to at least spend some time researching the options.

This bears repeating: it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Thanks to modern POS systems and pre-built loyalty platforms, you can start building a far better connection with you customers on a relatively low budget.

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H&L POS – working with you to help you grow your business
H&L POS has been delivering POS solutions with extensive back of house and staff management systems to the hospitality industry for more than 30 years. As hospitality people at heart, H&L understand the critical requirements for each food and beverage operation. We have staff in every state of Australia providing direction and advice as you grow and as technology changes.
Call us at 1800 778 340, email sales@hlpos.com or fill in the form below to discuss your venue’s needs.