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Loyalty Programmes For: Restaurants



Keys to Restaurant Success
Most will agree that success will include:
  • Managing food and other costs.
  • Marketing, maintaining brand identity and budgeted covers.
  • Finding and maintaining a competitive advantage.
Loyalty; a Game Changer
 
We do not recommend that restaurants take their eye off the ball. To have a branded loyalty programme, all you need do, is pass the ball.
 
Restaurants are social venues and building communities with whom they have relationships can be scaled to thousands in little time and at little cost. It is all possible, thanks to integration with social media and with short messaging channels.
 
Stage one loyalty programmes, such as, self-interest punch cards work, but they do not encourage diners to grow your business. Participating in Buy-One-Get-One-Free coupon marketing is costly. Often, you often have to pay the coupon vendor another 25%, leaving you with a net 25%, that you get some months later. Investing in loss leaders will build an audience for loss-leading-deals but will it grow your customer base of regular customers who pay regular prices? I suspect you know the answer.
 
The flip side is that you end up with coupon stubs, that you use to claim your +/- 25%. The problem is that you do not even get to know who the stubs are from, never mind that they are captured into a system to grow your business. Certainly, this is not a loyalty programme, but it may just rent you a crowd, if this is what you are prepared to pay for.
Success stories tell of rewarding diners for their brand advocacy on social media.
 
Brand advocacy is about the tweets, message shout-outs, photos, etc. on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google+, Pinterest, etc. In short, it is the community buzz that exists with or without your participation.
 
By participating in the social media buzz, restaurants can interact with guests, promote menu items or simply spotlight guests having fun in a way that others will want to be a part of.
 
Many ignore social media as they do not have the tools to harness the energy that it generates.
Engaged customers will offer advise such as responding to survey’s. Ask:
 
 - What special should we run paired with what?
-  What is a good week-end pairing during sports games?
-  Is it a beer and pretzels?
 
Restaurants can learn quickly, be responsive and more confidently meet demand preferences.
TGI Fridays’ created a Macaroni & Cheese burger – the idea went viral long before it got to the menu that attracted queues of eager guests.
The return on investment needed, for success, needs to be a return on relationships.
 
that have been established and nurtured. It’s about targeting preferences that change with the seasons and holiday vibes. What’s a great Mother’s Day Special, Winter Warmer, etc? 
Here are some ideas:
  • Restaurants with a club atmosphere are regular meeting places. The Manager recognizes frequent guests, knows what they eat and drink and has a relationship with them. The kind of place depicted in the sitcom “Cheers” where the regulars pitch up nightly because “everybody knows your name.”
  • With technology and social media integration this “Cheer’s atmosphere” can be replicated in large clubs fifty times the size of the original “Cheers.”
  • Get the chefs into the restaurant. Customers delight in selfies with the chef.
  • Get your latest menu, with styled photo’s online, that can be easily shared.
  •  Start liking your customer’s pictures that they share with your #hashtag as it shows that you are engaged in the conversation that they are promoting.
  • Better still host pages that link to the #hashtags and their pictures.
Gamification
 
This is just one example of how you could get it done:
  • reserve tables for regulars and have the same waiter/waitress be their "Maître d.'"
  • Have the table load selfies to the table #hashtag and reward the table for selfie, food and drink social sharing.
  • Run inter table contests and make the rewards on the night.
  • If 2 people at a table share a selfie on their social media sites with an average of 250 friends the reach will be 500 and if 20% retweet or share on Facebook etc. the reach jumps to 25,000 before it goes viral.  
How can you make this happen?
  1. Promote your own App (that we create for you) to customers who add the App button to their phone home screens or PC bookmarks.
  2. Customers tap the button to open the App and see what’s new. This could be a picture taken by the waiter/waitress last night. Diners comment on the picture and or on the fun, meals, drinks and service and with one click share it on Facebook or they can share on other social networks or forward by e-mail, WhatsApp etc.
  3. The advantage of having an App with styled menu photos is not to misrepresent but to present the menu item in the best possible light (literally).  All too often the atmosphere builders such as candles and dimmed lighting make for terrible pictures. The waiter/waitress can easily advise that the dish is on the App with one click sharing enabled. Thus, the guest taps the App button, scrolls to their dish and shares with a comment to their friends on the memorable culinary delight that they have in front of them.
  4. Host inter-table (inter waiter/waitress) picture contests.
  5. Invite patrons to register (once only) and opt-in for short message alerts and e-mail news. This gives you two databases and it gives every patron their own personal loyalty account where they can see their coupons, lucky draw entries, prepaid event entrance tickets, etc.
Marketing Solutions
 
You can pay a fortune for enterprise software solutions offering multiple Data Cloud Services for menu recommendations and analytical menu preference forecasts and the money would be well spent by those that have big budgets. The best is that we can make solutions affordable.
 
One-On-One Marketing
We offer a hands-on affordable solution that pays dividends in relationships within a connected community. Technology enables one-on-one marketing through inter-personal communication channels and casual restaurants who ask nameless diners if the meals are good are not taking up the opportunity to get their customers to grow their businesses. We do not change customer behaviours we encourage them and leverage them by offering incentive rewards.
 
Word of mouth was the tried and tested route to popularity. Today, social media is the game changer.
 
Taste, flavour and presentation have always defined the customer experience. Today, presentation needs extra care as meals are increasingly photographed and are shared in this new transparent world. People share moments with live networks that are eager to respond.
On popular nights, diners can switch destinations in a flash based on shared pictures of a mouthwatering special.
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