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How To Use Restaurant Loyalty Cards

As every retailer knows, getting a customer is one thing and keeping them is quite another.

The restaurant trade is no different – indeed, with more venues, pop-ups, and food vans selling a greater range of cuisines at more varied prices than ever before, it is crucial not just to attract custom but to retain it.

The customer has so much choice that it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to building their loyalty. It can be done, however, and it may be easier than you think.

It’s worth taking a leaf out of other retailers’ books. For some years now, everyone from Boots to Tesco has operated some sort of loyalty card scheme. While other marketing initiatives have come and gone, loyalty schemes have stayed.

There are several options when it comes to restaurant loyalty cards and restaurant loyalty programmes – you can be as creative and as versatile as you like – and here are the main ones.

Whichever you choose, do make sure your staff are all fully trained and aware of it and don’t forget to get customer feedback so you can monitor its effectiveness.

Points-based schemes

Simple, cheap, and effective; it’s no wonder these schemes are so popular.

Customers place their order, they're asked for and present their loyalty card, and points are added, which they can then trade against the cost of food or drinks or accumulate to ‘win’ a free meal, for example.

This is easy for the customer – all they have to do is remember to bring their card – and it works.

Punch card schemes

These work on a similar principle, but instead of points being awarded in relation to money spent, these work on a per-visit basis.

Each time the customer visits, their card is stamped – regardless of what they have bought or how much they have spent.

Once the card is full and the reward has been redeemed, customers are given a new one to start the process all over again.

The schemes are a perfect way to ensure your customers return time and time again. It also gives you the opportunity to share other special offers and promotions with them, which you can display via flyers and posters at your establishment.

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