Customer behavior is always changing – and to keep up, all restaurants need to be able to provide a top-of-the-line guest experience. Whether your guests come into your locations or order online, they should have the ability to engage with loyalty programs, purchase and redeem gift cards, and place their orders with ease. While national chains have a lot of resources at their disposal, using the right technology can level the playing field and help independent restaurants and small restaurant groups compete.
As a provider of enterprise-class customer experience products to restaurants large and small, here are the 3 “must-haves” Paytronix recommends to keep your independent brand competitive:
Online Ordering: Since 2020, the number of restaurant customers looking to place food orders digitally has skyrocketed. While some customers are looking forward to getting back to restaurants and gathering and dining with friends and family in person, many have permanently embraced the convenience of ordering and dining at home.
With Paytronix Order & Delivery, restaurants can streamline their online ordering operations, to make it easier for your staff to focus on what matters most. As online ordering rose in popularity, many restaurants raced to partner with brands like Door Dash and Uber Eats to capture more orders, but were left with three or four tablets with orders coming in, and needing to manually enter those orders into the POS. HandoffSM brings all of the orders from third parties like Door Dash and Uber Eats and integrates right to your POS, reducing human error and freeing up staff to wait on in-house guests.
Once your customer receives their order – how does your management team know they’ve enjoyed their meal? On-site guests can talk to their server, and managers can make a situation right on the spot, but off-premise customers often don’t have any way to express themselves except to leave a bad review or decide not to return again. With FEEDbackSM your restaurant managers can save a guest relationship right away by getting instant responses from customers, and enabling the manager to respond to negative experiences with discounts and offers at the touch of a button.
Loyalty: Loyalty programs do more than foster goodwill between you and your guests. They provide a valuable communication channel and help to grow your customer’s lifetime value. Built with the busy operator in mind, Paytronix delivers personalized, targeted, email messages in real-time so you can drive traffic every day.
The Paytronix platform also adds a layer of artificial intelligence to your campaigns by predicting future behavior, enabling highly productive segmentation, and making on-the-spot recommendations to increase spend and order frequency.
Regular customers are what drive business – but what happens when one of your regulars hasn’t been in for a while. How can you reach out to them and tempt them with a special offer or promotion to bring them back to your locations? A win-back campaign does just that, by identifying your customers who have missed an expected visit and sending them an offer to come back and remember what they love about your restaurant before they’re gone for good.
Check out this story of a brand who used a Win-Back Campaign to reengage with wayward loyalty members…with a 10.9x return!
Gift Cards: Restaurant gift cards are a popular way for your customers to share their love of your brand, whether for the holidays, a special event, or as a thank you and modern gift card programs include the ability to purchase and send a virtual gift card online as well as on site.
And for those customers who receive a gift card, making it as easy as possible for them to redeem their card creates a positive experience that they’re sure to remember. Providing the option for both online and on-site redemption with an online ordering integration means that these customers can celebrate the way they choose.
By using loyalty, online order & delivery, and AI-driven insights with one platform, you have all the data you need to motivate your guests to buy more often and more frequently and a program with the flexibility to grow as you do.
We know that a better customer experience does great things for a brand. Well-designed and executed loyalty programs, especially programs like this one, can have a substantial impact on visit frequency, incremental revenue, and overall customer lifetime value. Research conducted by Paytronix and PYMNTS found that 70% of quick-service and fast-casual patrons take advantage of loyalty programs offered by several restaurants they purchase from frequently, and 64% of customers use loyalty programs at multiple restaurants from which they frequently purchase.
But it’s also true that what works today cannot work forever, so it’s important to have a technology platform in place that offers flexibility, and a team that knows how to take full advantage of a platform.
QDOBA is a long-time Paytronix partner, with a very successful loyalty program. But we are always looking for ways to increase revenue and to make the entire experience better. Working with the Paytronix Data Insights team, QDOBA took a deep dive into the data, asking questions of both active and lapsed users to understand how they interact with the brand, what they love, and what they want.
Guests made a few things clear. They loved the food and they loved earning rewards that got them free meals, but they wanted it to be easier. In short, easy redemption and relevant, compelling rewards are key to strong member engagement.
The result is a simplified program that offers a fast path to rewards which increases visit frequency and boosts customer acquisition.
It’s this kind of work that creates a thoughtful program that keeps the customer front and center.
As 2021 comes to a close, the Paytronix team took a look at some of our favorite apps from restaurants and c-stores.
In its early days, order and delivery services were an indulgence, a treat for the occasional lazy night-in after a long workday. But during the pandemic, online delivery became a lifeline for people stuck at home, and a competitive edge for c-stores and restaurants. Now we’re entering the next phase with “ghost kitchens” and “dark stores” rising out of vacated storefronts that were once home to traditional mom and pop businesses. These stores operate virtually, fielding orders digitally, fulfilling them behind closed doors, and dispatching couriers within minutes.
Today, mobile apps have become front and center for all brands, which means that restaurants and c-stores are transforming their apps to seamlessly integrate all of their services into a single touch-and-go hub. These services include:
NFC and in-app payments
Customizations such as product favorites and re-order capabilities
Experience is everything. A successful app captures the essence of your brand and delivers your services to customers in seamless and exciting ways.
A big congratulations to Peet’s Coffee, which just launched its new loyalty program on the Paytronix Platform. Peet’s is a longtime Paytronix client and we prize our collaborative and creative relationship that helps push the boundaries of guest engagement programs.
The latest version of Peetnik Rewards is about giving customers more flexibility in how they earn and spend their rewards, as well as getting customers rewards faster. While Peet’s based its previous rewards on visits, this new program focuses instead on automatic and bankable points based on spend. When you add to that the ability for the customer to choose how and when they want to receive their reward, you have a program that lets customers tailor the benefits of the loyalty program to their personal purchasing behavior.
This kind of project doesn’t happen without a number of technologies working closely together, which is why we’re so proud that Peet’s approached Paytronix from the very start. Loyalty is one pillar of a comprehensive system that includes a custom-designed mobile app, online ordering system and POS. It’s the loyalty program that makes it possible for a person to earn points through an online order, and then spend those by redeeming points for alternative milks or espresso shots to lattes, or ordering signature breakfast items, beverages or beans.
Bankable points programs continue to increase in popularity in part because they’re so easy to understand. In our annual Loyalty Report, we found that while bankable points programs account for just 31% of all core programs, they grew tremendously in 2020, largely because of the flexibility the programs offer to customers.
We’re eager to see how this program grows over the coming months and years and look forward to our continued relationship with such an iconic coffee brand. Download the Peet’s app here.