6 Restaurant Loyalty Programs Trends You Need to Know Right Now

Par 21 May 2019 July 14th, 2022 Aucuns Commentaires

Marketing strategies have quickly evolved since the first “7th Coffee is Free” loyalty punch card. In a field where competition is fierce, restaurant owners have no choice but to come up with ingenious ideas to bring their customers back. Here are the latest restaurant loyalty programs trends we have seen around the world.


1. Think beyond monetary rewards

Win over your members’ loyalty with:

  • Freebies (e.g. drink, dessert, branded item)
  • Surprises sent via text message or email
  • Invitations to special events or product tastings
  • Exclusive drive-through for mobile orders
  • Guaranteed reservations for exclusive events
  • Members-only special dinners or apparel items

2. Give points for engagement

Boost your members’ engagement by:

  • Rewarding them not only for their spending but also for engaging with your brand on social media
  • Sending interactive communications (e.g. surveys)
  • Gamifying their participation through online challenges, quizzes, contests, etc.

3. Offer features on mobile

Give your customers the convenience they crave by letting them use their mobile device to:

  • Track and redeem their loyalty rewards
  • Consult your menu
  • Make a reservation
  • View their reward balance

4. Create recurring promotions

Cater to your members’ preferences by creating personalized promotions for:

  • Visiting multiple times in a month
  • Visiting on specific days or at specific times
  • Specific hours of the day
  • Trying a new item on the menu
  • Bringing in a large party of guests
  • Referring a friend

5. Personalize your offers

Increase your members’ likelihood to spend by sending them special offers based on:

  • Past purchases
  • Preferences

Show your members that you care by letting them donate their rewards to:

  • Green causes
  • Charities of their choice

6. Provide exclusive benefits

Keep your highest-spending members by giving them exclusive privileges, such as:

  • Priority reservations for special events (holidays, etc.)
  • Exclusive invitations to VIP events
  • Unlimited dishes or beverages (low-cost items) for a specific period (e.g. Olive Garden sells eight-week passes or annual Never Ending Pasta passes)

These tactics will allow you to generate significant income and will, above all, help you retain and engage what is most valuable to your business, your customers.

Need an example? Take a look at Starbucks and its loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards, two-time winner of the best Canadian program in our LoyalT study.


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