Restaurants get boost from reward schemes
Loyalty schemes are proving vital for restaurants to keep hold of their customers in difficult economic times, a new survey has found.
The survey in the US by the National Restaurant Association, found that more than three-quarters of the 1,300 restaurateurs surveyed said customer loyalty programmes aided in business growth over the last year. Ninety percent said loyalty programmes provided a “competitive edge.”
Further metrics indicated that 84% of restaurants running programmes plan to increase their schemes. Currently, 74% use a form of social media, either Facebook (65%) and/or Twitter (40%), to drive their programmes.
In addition to punch cards and loyalty cards to track visits, restaurants have implemented point systems and software programmes that tally purchasing totals.
“Repeat customers are a very important demographic for restaurant operators to grow their business, and loyalty programs can provide strong incentive to increase visits from those individuals,” said Hudson Riehle, senior VP of the research & knowledge group with the National Restaurant Association.
A 2009 performance survey by the National Restaurant Association discovered restaurants stagnated or experienced reduced business every month.
“These findings clearly show that dining loyalty programs continue to grow because they work to accomplish strategic business objectives,” says Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty 360, a loyalty marketing think tank and clearing house of information.
“We know that restaurants want the insights from these loyalty programs to provide or create sustainable behavioral change. And with the economy continuing to put pressure on marketing budgets, we also know that this study gives industries across the board deeper insights as how best to drive the proven bottom line impact of loyalty programs.”