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Jess Shelcusky

Jess Shelcusky is a marketing communications specialist at Paytronix focusing on the convenience store and restaurant industries. With an MBA from Boston College and a passion for telling stories, she helps produce new content to help businesses take their marketing to the next level. When not blogging or hosting webinars, she loves trivia, reading, and rewatching Game of Thrones.

7 Innovative Ways to Reward Guests in a Modern Loyalty Program

Looking for ways to update your guest engagement strategy? Today’s loyalty programs don’t just offer discounts – they leverage machine learning to target guests with the offers and promotions most relevant to them while motivating behaviors that increase revenue. In order to be successful, loyalty programs need to enroll as many guests as possible, encourage them to become active members, and drive incremental purchases, so if your impression of a loyalty program is just a digitized version of the old-fashioned punch card, think again!

Here are seven ways to reward guests that can be built into your loyalty program to boost guest activity and ROI for your brand.

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How Should Your Restaurant Offer Delivery – In-House or Third Party?

Experts predict that the online food delivery market will reach $24 billion by 2023 and that it will make up 40% of total restaurant sales by 2020. As your guests increasingly demand the convenience of delivery, it is imperative to decide how to offer delivery in your restaurant. There are two options to choose from – you could partner with one of the leading third-party delivery services or tackle delivery on your own with an in-house fleet. Depending on the size and scale of your operations, either choice could be the right one to allow your brand to compete in a shifting industry.

There are several reasons why you would choose to use a leading aggregate delivery service like GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats, or Postmates:

  • Exposure: For small brands, being listed alongside industry leaders makes their cuisine more visible to prospective delivery customers who have never heard of their restaurant before. For large brands, it also creates awareness about the availability of delivery service. Getting the food they crave without having to change out of their pajamas will thrill your guests and strengthen their relationship with your brand.
  • Convenience: Not only is it convenient for guests, but it’s also convenient for the restaurant operators using these third parties. Partnering with brands that are the best in their field lets you focus on what you do well without stretching your team too thin.
  • Expense: Launching an in-house fleet won’t come cheaply if you have many locations for which to provide vehicles and delivery drivers. Employees could be designated for a delivery role, but that can be a drain on resources during times when orders aren’t coming in.

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Increase Restaurant Loyalty & Reach More Guests with Coupons

 

woman with the word coupon behind her

Guest engagement programs allow you to learn about and engage with the customers who participate. But what about the guests you don’t know – the ones who haven’t yet enrolled? Even with a loyalty program that has reached a 30-40% penetration rate, over half of your guests are still unknown to your restaurant. How can you communicate with those guests to offer them promotions, drive visits, and gain insight into their purchasing behavior?

One way is through coupons. By using coupons to complement your existing one-to-one loyalty program, you can improve your ability to market to all of your guests.

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Drive More Revenue With Subscriptions

Consider all of the conveniences that are available to modern consumers. They can wake up, make coffee with beans that were delivered in one day through Amazon Prime, shave with a razor from Dollar Shave Club, and get dressed in an outfit that was delivered in this month’s Stitch Fix box. As they ride to work in a prepaid Uber, they can browse articles on their phone courtesy of an online subscription to their favorite newspaper. After returning home, they can make dinner from a Blue Apron kit while listening to commercial-free music via a Spotify premium account, and then take a spin class as part of their ClassPass subscription.

As consumers, we’ve become used to subscription-based services in every aspect of our daily lives. The subscription business model has grown rapidly, increasing sales from $57 million in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016. Throughout the restaurant industry, several brands have successfully introduced subscription-based meals, with Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass being a prime example. A limited number of guests could spend $100 for an eight-week pass or $300 for a full year, entitling them to unlimited servings of pasta, soup, salad, and breadsticks.

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