Beyond Discounts - Exploring Unique Features in Exceptional Restaurant Loyalty

Beyond Discounts – Exploring Unique Features in Exceptional Restaurant Loyalty

Restaurants rely heavily on customer loyalty for their success. Loyal customers spend two-thirds more than new ones, making customer retention a critical component of profitability.

Many restaurant loyalty programs use traditional transactional benefits such as discounts or free items to retain customers. But how can restaurants elevate these incentives to drive engagement and increase revenue?

Offer a Free Appetizer or Dessert

For many, dining out can take a significant bite of the budget. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for restaurants to offer free food in exchange for signing up for their eClub or downloading their app. Some of these offers are immediate, such as a free appetizer or dessert. In contrast, others require you to sign up before you receive the reward, such as free food money or a discount after signing up for their rewards program. Many of these restaurants also give you free birthday treats for being loyal customers.

For restaurants, offering discounts is a great way to draw customers in and encourage repeat visits. However, it’s essential to strategically distribute these promotions to attract the right kind of business and maintain your profits. Some ways to do this include leveraging email marketing, social media posts, and local advertising to reach your target audience.

Restaurants can use their best restaurant loyalty programs to cut prices at the last minute to fill available rooms and use promotions to draw in new business. To accomplish this, lower rates for a predetermined amount of time by modifying your time-based adjustments in the customize tab. By default, it applies a discount of 25% for reservations made within the past three days and 10% for those made within the past seven days. You can create additional discounts for other timeframes. These are known as last-minute discounts and are a great way to increase the likelihood of receiving bookings.

Offer a Free Bottle of Wine

Offering a complimentary bottle of wine is an exceptional restaurant loyalty feature that can be provided to VIP customers. The offer is often made to celebrate a milestone event or holiday, such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. It is also sometimes offered as an incentive to sign up for a newsletter or other marketing email list.

A complimentary bottle of wine can help restaurants increase the likelihood that guests will order other items on the menu. It can significantly improve overall revenue and allow restaurants to stay afloat during slow periods.

Restaurants that offer free corkage are a unique type of restaurant that allows customers to bring their bottles of wine for service in the restaurant. These establishments typically do not charge a corkage fee, although some may have a “bottle charge,” which is the price to serve the guest’s bottle of wine.

Buying in bulk is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save on wine purchases. Many wines are available at discounted prices in bulk and can be purchased for about 30% less per glass than if the customer had asked for individual pours. Using smartphone applications can be an excellent way to earn cashback on wine and other drinks.

Many restaurants will allow guests to bring their bottle of wine to the restaurant if it is not a sparkling wine or liquor. It will enable the guest to choose their beverage from the menu and can be a great way to save money on the bill.

Time-based pricing to decrease prices for specific periods is expected in the hospitality industry. Hotels and vacation rentals often reduce prices at the last minute to ensure all their rooms are booked. These discounts can then be applied to your rate during these periods.

Offer a Free Dessert

The restaurant industry is infamous for razor-thin margins that can quickly make a brand’s profitability suffer. As a result, most restaurants heavily emphasize loyalty programs to help them increase customer retention and drive revenue. However, with vendors pitching the same tactics left and right, it’s easy for loyalty strategies to feel stale and overdone.

A personalized approach to loyalty marketing can help restaurateurs create an unforgettable experience for their guests, inspiring unwavering loyalty. Using the data collected by your loyalty program, you can target unique promotions to specific customers or groups of guests. For example, if you notice that your restaurant generates more business during the summer, you can send out emails to remind guests of your two-for-one happy hour offer.

Similarly, if your best customers always order the same item, you can target them with a promotion for an item you know they will enjoy. That will make them feel understood and valued, resulting in a high ROI for your loyalty program.

In addition to providing targeted offers, loyalty programs can track essential customer data like preferred menu items and dining times. This data allows you to offer one-of-a-kind experiences to your guests that will keep them coming back for more.

For example, a restaurant could partner with a local dessert maker to offer a complimentary dessert for any dine-in purchase made by members of their loyalty program. It would be an exceptional way to boost sales for the restaurant while promoting the dessert and enhancing the consumer experience.

Loyalty programs can help restaurants attract and retain customers, but it’s crucial to differentiate from the competition to maximize results. By offering exceptional rewards and incentives, your loyalty program can help you transform first-time customers into repeat businesses and cut the cost of customer acquisition by six times. It translates to higher profits and greater sustainability for your restaurant long-term.

Offer a Free Dessert with a Purchase

Whether you are at the upscale restaurant where you pay $30 for an entree and get a free dessert or at the family-friendly chain that gives out birthday treats to their kids and coupons to adults on their special day, offering customers a dessert with their purchase is one of the best ways to reward them for their loyalty. Some restaurants even offer this as a perk for joining their eClub or newsletter program.

On the retail front,  membership perks include a 20% discount on most items and free shipping for all purchases. However, the terms & conditions page notes that this doesn’t apply to brands not owned by BBB.

While last-minute discounts are a common way for hotels and vacation rental companies to fill up any gaps in availability, it is also possible to increase rates over time. You can do this using the dynamic pricing tool’s time-based adjustments feature. By default, the system allows you to lower prices for specific periods, such as 25% during the last three days of stay and 10% over the previous seven days.

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