Tiana Hendrix
Tiana Hendrix
Tiana is the marketing coordinator at Paytronix. She helps bring the Paytronix story to life through content, social, our website and trade shows. In her free time, you can find her binge liking Tom Brady's Instagram photos.

How to Create a Restaurant Loyalty Program That’s Right for Your Brand

Building customer loyalty can be a challenge, but if your goal is to motivate guests to visit more often and spend more when they do, then creating a restaurant loyalty program that works for your brand is essential. Because guests aren’t all the same, the ways they want to interact with your brand will vary. Before you start creating a loyalty program to boost incremental visits and revenue, there are four key areas to address: 

  1. Determine which loyalty program will best engage your guests. 
  2. Discover the type of program that best aligns with your brand concept.
  3. Decide what kind of program your staff can effectively execute.
  4. Establish which program will help you best achieve your restaurant’s financial goals.

First, you will want to arrive at the type of rewards program that will resonate with your guests. This is unique to each restaurant and will be influenced by brand concept, menu, server interactions, and business needs. Keeping those factors in mind, you can then start to create your customer loyalty program, which consists of these three main elements: 

  1. Core Program: This is the heart of your loyalty program and defines the rewards as well as how they are earned and redeemed. Successful core programs will motivate guests to visit more often and spend more of their dining-out budget with you. The format of your core program can be one that automatically rewards guests for accumulating a set amount of points or one that rewards them after reaching a certain number of visits. This is where picking the program that best aligns with your brand and your business objectives is crucial to your success.
  2. Layered Programs: These are additional benefits that run concurrently with the core program. Examples include rewarding guests on their birthday and donating a portion of an individual’s spend to a selected charity. These layered programs can differentiate a brand and strengthen your guests’ connection with it.
  3. Promotions: These are targeted offers sent to boost traffic during slow periods, increase guest spend, or even win back lapsed guests. A means of influencing buying behavior, promotions can be fun one-off interactions that create urgency and drive sales.

By giving careful consideration to each of these three elements, you will be able to structure your loyalty program in a way that appeals to your guests. A fast-casual restaurant wanting to increase visits may choose a core program of visit frequency that includes birthday rewards and promotions like double points and visit challenges. Meanwhile, a restaurant looking to build relationships may opt for a core program of bankable points layered with limited-time offers and surprise-and-delight rewards. Aligning your program with your business goals and your customers’ behavior will provide the best results. 

To learn more about the various types of loyalty programs, download the article “Choosing a Loyalty Program That’s Right for You.” 

3 Data-Backed Marketing Tools for Connecting with Your Customers

In the age of Big Data, having a wealth of information can be both a blessing and a curse. There are a lot of valuable insights to gain, but you need a team with the right skillset to determine what is important and apply it to the creation of effective campaigns as well as your overall marketing strategy. Since no solution is going to work for every brand, taking a deep dive and developing a customized approach will always yield the best results.

Here are three data-backed tools that you should consider implementing to engage customers and increase sales:

  1. Subscriptions: Falling under the larger umbrella of stored-value payment, subscriptions are a growing trend. Some brands choose to let their customers load prepaid meals onto an account, which is not much different than preloading cash to spend. In both cases, when guests store value on a card or in an account that’s linked to a loyalty program, visits and spend typically increase. Prepaid meal passes have sometimes resulted in incremental spend being boosted by up to 80%. When stored value is paired with auto-reload features, it can produce additional benefits like a 15% increase in weekly visits.
  2. Artificial Intelligence: More than a hip term, AI is a tool that is helping marketers determine the most impactful ways to reach their guests at a reasonable cost. Taking individualization beyond bands and segments allows marketers to optimize promotions and maximize their ROI. One-to-one visit challenges that offer rewards based on individual guest behavior have generated remarkable results. One such challenge saw the number of visits increase 10.5% across all guests and almost 28% among those who were already visiting somewhat regularly. Choosing the right promotion can entice more visits and spend from even your best guests.
  3. Segmentation and Predictive Scoring: Targeting guests by likelihood to take actions can further refine any marketing strategy. Whether guests are inclined to visit once a week or once a year, you can craft promotions that will work for each segment. Thoughtfully structured campaigns typically drive a 15-25% increase in visit frequency and prompt behavior changes like visiting at a different time of day, spending more, and trying new products. Predictive models can also be used to identify segments that are likely to visit without receiving an offer, helping you avoid cannibalization.

In the hands of the right data insights team, these tools will motivate increased visits and spend, which ultimately leads to improved top-line sales. To learn more about building a successful loyalty program, download “Target Low-Frequency Guests. Here’s Why.

What’s on Your Grill This Summer?

With burger joints eager to stay current and appeal to varying tastes, guests are seeing a full range of innovative menu items. Some of these offerings contain no meat at all, some feature new ingredients like CBD, and others are being called something other than burgers. As the summer grilling season heats up, let’s explore how three restaurant chains are improving their marketing strategy and reaching new customers by introducing a fresh take on a classic meal.

Burger King, one of the largest burger chains in America, recently announced that all of its locations will be offering the Impossible Whopper by the end of 2019. The name is inspired by the burger’s supplier, Impossible Foods, which is a leading provider of plant-based substitutes for meat. The burger looks and tastes just like the real thing, and stores carrying the Impossible Whopper have seen an increase in foot traffic. Meanwhile, independent and smaller restaurants are experiencing similar demand for plant-based alternatives, but Impossible Foods doesn’t have the supply to meet the needs of large chains and small chains alike. This situation has given rise to direct competitors like Beyond Meat, which is starting to gain much more recognition in the market after reaching agreements with Hooters and Tim Hortons.

Carl’s Jr. is a chain that’s taking a more radical approach to keeping up with the latest food trends. On April 20th, a day that has become associated with cannabis, it tested a CBD burger. The Rocky Mountain High Burger has a typical patty but it’s topped with CBD-infused sauce. Although popular for personal consumption, food and beverages that contain CBD exist in a gray area. The FDA conducted its first hearing on the use of CBD in restaurants this year and will continue to explore all of the pros and cons before either maintaining its illegality or overturning the current regulations.

While Burger King and Carl’s Jr. are adapting the traditional burger to cater to a more health-conscious or adventurous consumer base, IHOP is focusing on creative marketing. After this well-known breakfast chain decided to promote burgers last summer to drive lunch and dinner traffic, it received backlash from those who felt that a pancake place should stick to what it does best. In response, IHOP has begun marketing its burgers as just another category of pancakes. I mean, they’re the same shape, right? IHOP is also keeping a list of social media users who tweeted negative sentiments during last year’s promotion. The only way to get off this “Bancake List” is to tweet something positive about the brand.

In this season of increased burger consumption, you should give some thought to the innovations that are impacting the food industry and how restaurant chains are responding to new consumer preferences. For more information, check out our on-demand webinar, “Grilling Up Plant-Based Proteins on Your Menu,” and consult our data brief for tips on deciding what your menu should feature next.

5 Benefits of Offering NFC Loyalty ID

Technology continues to change the relationship between guests and their favorite brands. Today, one-click ordering, cashless payments, and subscriptions deliver frictionless purchase experiences. To meet rising expectations, restaurants and c-stores must provide guests with easy and hassle-free checkout, and a great way to accomplish this is with NFC Loyalty ID.

NFC, which stands for near-field communication, enables two devices to exchange data when they are brought into close proximity of each other. By simply tapping their phones at an NFC-enabled payment terminal, guests complete their purchase without having to dig through their purses or wallets to find a means of payment, and Paytronix passes along their identification for the brand’s guest engagement program. If they are not members already, the device will display a message inviting them to join the program.

Here are the five biggest benefits of integrating NFC Loyalty ID into your service offerings:

  1. Improve line speed. Being able to transmit data and complete a transaction with just one tap reduces waiting time at the register. In addition to benefiting your busy guests, it makes transactions quicker and smoother for the cashier.
  2. Heighten data security and quality. With NFC payment, sensitive credit card data is stored by the mobile wallet providers, but not by the restaurant or c-store. Guests can feel confident when paying with mobile wallets since they are more secure than swiping.
  3. Gain insight into guest behavior. Knowing the visit times, locations, and transaction details for each guest enables brands to send targeted communications and offers.
  4. Engage a younger demographic. Those who use Apple Pay and Google Pay are typically about five years younger than a brand’s average guest.
  5. Enjoy higher check averages. When guests are earning visit credit via mobile payment with NFC Loyalty ID, they tend to spend more.

NFC Loyalty ID represents the intersection of convenient payment and guest engagement. Through innovative technology, retailers can provide frictionless guest experiences while at the same time capturing data and offering easy enrollment in a loyalty program.

You won’t want to miss out on the chance to increase guest engagement by capturing key data that will enhance your one-to-one marketing strategy. Paytronix was the first to market with this new technology, which is now live in more than 2,000 locations. For more information, watch Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Payment.