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Having a loyalty program is a major commitment for a brand.  Managing and maximizing the program will benefit the brand immensely.  Here are 5 tips as a restaurant looks to improve Loyalty performance (the same can be applied to Eclubs and App users as well).

1.​ Make Program Benefits Crystal Clear​​

As consumers, we have all been there. We join a loyalty program and quickly realize the reward structure is crazy and understanding the benefits deserves a reward in and of itself.  Clearly describe how consumers will earn rewards, how often, and promote that ease consistently (more on that later).

2.​ Get to Know Your Loyalty Members

Whether it is through survey data collection, marrying Loyalty data with POS (point of sale) data or adding third-party data (demographics, psychographics, physical location, etc), a brand should gather as much intelligence as possible on members.  The more you know about members the more you can tailor your communication and messaging.  Doing so will keep your audience engaged and keep your content relevant to them (please don’t send kids eat free messages to everyone).

3.​ Engage Your Members Based on Activity

Activity and usage will vary from member to member.  As you gather more data and get to know members like I mentioned in point 2, it is critical to reach them when they are starting to enter a behavior category you don’t like.  Whether it is not visiting the restaurant, not opening messages, or not taking advantage of the club, purposefully bucket your audience, message appropriately and surprise and delight with offers/LTOs to help bring them back to the light.

4.​ Understand Your Loyalty Members Will Cheat on You

Loyalty today is a tough nut to crack.  Knowing that consumers are going to get around when it comes to other restaurants should be a given.  Make sure you treat their frequency and spend with respect to their other options: There is only so much money to go around.

5.​ Create Obtainable Rewards

Consider a simple ‘spend an amount to get an amount’ model.  Very easy for a consumer to understand and get benefit.  Also, be sure to fit the reward to your average ticket.  A good example can be seen by comparing two Fast Casual Loyalty Programs:

Pie Five Pizza Co. – Earn 1 point for every dollar spent.  Get a $10 Reward when you get to 100 points ($100 spent).  Based on Average ticket of $15 – Just over 6 Visits to get $10 back.

Qdoba Mexican Eats – Earn 10 points for every dollar spent.  Rewards are item based.  Let’s go apples to apples and go with an entrée (similar price to a pizza). Get a free entree (roughly $10 value) when you get to 3,000 points ($330 spent). Based on average ticket of $15 – 22 visits to get a free entrée.

Asking a consumer to come in 22 times or 6 times for a reward is quite the gap.  I’ll let you be the judge of which one is more reasonable when it comes to how a consumer will operate and see value in your brand.

Keep these handy and your loyalty program will take you to new heights.