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12 Useful Tips to Rock Your Restaurant Marketing & Loyalty Strategies

Over the last 4 years, loyalty program enrollments have gone up 31%, with 86% of users being likely to spend more money if they like a particular program. Even in the case of restaurants, 65% of consumers have already joined one or more loyalty programs. Well, great loyalty programs aren’t the only thing at the core of all this – excellent restaurant marketing campaigns that promote said programs are also paramount.

After all, you can have the best restaurant promotions and loyalty programs out there. If they don’t reach your customers, they won’t boost your sales and help you grow your QSRs. What’s more, you also need to ensure that the marketing strategies you use to promote these programs are engaging as well.

restaurant marketing

So then, how do you go about doing that?

Sure, investing money in your marketing campaigns and loyalty strategies is important. But that’s hardly the kind of advice you can fully rely on.

And that’s exactly why we decided to write this piece – so that you, the QSR owners, will have easy access to a huge variety of restaurant marketing and loyalty tips you can implement right now (we’ve also added the key takeaways at the end of the article for those of you who are in a hurry).

So, let’s get started.

1. Promote Customers Who Redeem Rewards

Surprisingly, not many QSR owners have tried doing this. Basically, it’s all about showcasing your most loyal clients online – be it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel.

Not only is this an excellent, quite unique way to promote your restaurant promotions and loyalty programs, but it also shows your program members (and non-members too) just how much you care about your customers.
Plus, doing something like this isn’t even hard. Just tell your staff to see which loyalty members redeem loyalty rewards, and ask them if they can snap a picture of them for your restaurant marketing strategy.

All that’s left is posting the picture online, and adding a catchy caption that entices patrons to join your program. Something along the lines of “You too can redeem amazing rewards by joining our loyalty program here.” can work really well.

All in all, doing this has 3 main benefits:

  • It can attract new customers to your loyalty program.
  • I can boost your restaurant social media engagement.
  • It can also enhance your brand’s image.

2. Post Info about Your Loyalty Programs on Your Website

This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many QSR owners ignore this opportunity. And it’s quite a shame, cause customers usually access a restaurant’s website to check the menu or the schedule.

Ideally, you should create a banner for your loyalty program, and have it trigger whenever non-members visit your website. Of course, the banner should take them to a separate landing page where everything is explained in detail.

Yes, you can also create a page for the program and link it on your website, but people are more likely to interact with a banner + landing page.

restaurant promotions

3. Train Your Staff to Promote Loyalty Programs (+Reward Them for It)

Your staff members are the ones who interact with your customers on a daily basis, and they do so directly, face-to-face. Thus, you need to make sure they know how to promote your loyalty rewards and programs during the ordering/checkout process.

So, be sure to properly train your staff about your loyalty programs, so that they can adequately answer any questions your patrons might have.

Of course, we also have to be realistic. Financial rewards will go a long way in this situation, especially when it comes to motivating your employees to promote these programs as much as they can.

We recommend offering them access to a well-priced gift card (valued at around $50+) to your most hard-working employees – meaning the ones who meet a monthly sign-up quota.
That’s not all you can do, actually. You can also ask your staff to wear T-shirts that promote your loyalty program as well.

4. Use Displays + Signage to Advertise the Program

It’s not necessary to have your staff promote your restaurant promotions and loyalty programs round-the-clock, though. You can also use a display to advertise your program and its benefits right near the POS system.

Naturally, the placement should ensure that clients can get a look at it before paying for their order, so that they can ask the cashier about the program if they are interested.

Just keep a few things in mind if you want to do this:

  • Always highlight the main advantages.
  • Quickly summarize how patrons can join the program.
  • Clearly display the reward structure.

That’s not all, though – here’s another idea: Place displays around the store/restaurant (near items that are top-sellers, preferably) that specify what products/services your customers can get for free if they’re part of your loyalty program.

Also, you can do the same with yours. What’s more, you don’t even have to use digital displays – simple signage telling clients about your program is more than enough.

restaurant ideas

Even using placemats with your program’s info on them can work, and the same goes for table talkers. Plus, with table talkers and placemats, you have plenty of room to highlight everything your program offers.

5. Offer Potential Members an Incentive

Clients are simply more likely to sign up for a loyalty program if they know they are receiving an immediate benefit out of it.

So, one way to boost your restaurant marketing and loyalty success rates is to let customers know that they stand to gain something (like a discount coupon, for example) the moment they sign up for your loyalty program.

6. Promote the Program on Your Restaurant Social Media Pages

This is an essential tactic when it comes to restaurant marketing. You just have to make sure you go about doing this the right way.

Well, one way to do this is to encourage existing members to share the fact that they are/they have become a part of your restaurant’s loyalty programs. Naturally, you should offer an incentive for this (the chance to win extra loyalty points or bonus rewards), to boost customer engagement even more.

Another way to promote your program on social media is to post about the freebies/unique rewards customers can enjoy if they become program members. Don’t forget to link to the loyalty program landing page in the post too.

restaurant social media

7. Team Up with a Local Business/Nonprofit

One way to make sure your restaurant ideas and loyalty programs are successful is to team up with a local business (one that isn’t your competitor, of course) and run a dual marketing campaign – one that benefits both of you.

This way, you can both promote your own loyalty programs, and sign up customers for both of them.

Here’s one idea – you and your business partner can offer a freebie/discount coupon for any one of your business places to patrons if they sign up for one of the programs. This way, you can potentially attract more customers.

In fact, it’s not necessary for you to team up with a business. You can do the same with a nonprofit too – say an animal shelter, for example. While they promote your partnership, you – in turn – can offer loyalty members the chance to win food for the animals at the shelter as a reward, for instance.

Safe to say that there are plenty of possibilities to boost your restaurant marketing results this way.

8. Attend Local Events

What better way to gain exposure for your restaurant/store and its loyalty program than by attending a local event or a festival. You just need a stand and some employees to represent your business, and some signage/displays that showcase the highlights of your loyalty programs.

You can even try selling merchandise (like T-shirts) that advertises your loyalty program at the event. This way, the program well get a lot of exposure, as plenty of people will get to see your happy customers promoting it.

What’s more, you could also offer clients who sign up for your program during said event/festival access to unique, time-sensitive rewards.

loyalty program

9. Run Ads That Advertise Your Loyalty Program

You probably already run Google or Bing ads for your QSR and restaurant promotions, so why not do the same for your loyalty program as well?

In fact, you can even try using newspaper ads (both printed and digital). Contrary to popular belief, newspaper reach is still pretty big, as around 58% of adults that are aged 18-34 read a newspaper, while around 89 million adults access newspaper content on their mobile devices.

Also, here’s another idea – post ads about your loyalty program on the receipt. Naturally, the whole text needs to be very short and straight to the point. One thing you can do is let customers know how much money they could have saved on the purchase if they were part of your restaurant’s program.

You could even try posting such ads on deal forums or on websites like Craigslist and Kijiji. Though, if you want to do posts on forums. We recommend making the post seem more natural than sales-y (as if it’s being posted by a satisfied customer).

10. Mention the Loyalty Program on the Menu

Now, we’re not saying you should outright start promoting it on the first page of the menu. However, what you can do is note down just how many loyalty points customers could win if they were to buy a certain item on the menu.

Alternatively, you could mark down items on the menu that can be redeemed as free rewards by patrons who are members of your loyalty program.

restaurant rewards

Oh, be sure to mention the same things on your online menu too, and remember to link your loyalty program landing page in a call to action.

All in all, this is a very effective restaurant marketing strategy – subtle and convincing.

11. Don’t Forget about Flyers & Newsletters

You most likely already have a newsletter in place to let your subscribed customers know about various restaurant promotions. Well, why not tell them about your loyalty program, rewards, and how to join it as well?

Also, yes, even flyers can get the job done as well. They continue to be a reliable restaurant marketing tactic to this day.

Just remember to:

  • Make the headline(s) catchy.
  • Make sure the Flyers’ colors match your brand.
  • Use your logo.
  • Ensure the Flyers are in the vicinity of your QSR (but don’t limit them to the area alone).

12. Promote Your Loyalty Programs on the App Store

“Wait, you can actually do that?”

As a matter of fact, yes – you just need a high-end loyalty app that offers your customers access to all your restaurant promotions. After all, do keep in mind that 57% of loyalty program members actually look forward to using a mobile device in order to interact with the program’s features.

What’s more, 59% of consumers say they are more likely to join a loyalty program if it has a mobile app associated with it.

restaurant loyalty app

Lastly, here’s one more thing to consider – as of November 2016, there were officially more mobile users than desktop users worldwide. Thus, it’s quite clear in what direction the market is heading. Not to mention that you’ll effectively have a wide consumer audience to market your services and loyalty promotions to.

Plus, just imagine how happy your customers will be when they’ll find out that they can:

  • Check their loyalty points and redeem rewards on their phones.
  • Make mobile payments.
  • Order what they want on their mobile device(s), before they even arrive at your QSR.

And that’s not even all – a mobile loyalty app can also help you enhance your restaurant marketing efforts. Basically, you’d gain access to valuable customer data that will help you better understand their buying habits. In turn, that will help you tailor your services according to their needs, thus resulting in increased customer loyalty and profits.

“But How Do I Make That Happen, Though?”

With a reliable, all-in-one app building platform, of course! It’s way more cost-efficient than doing it yourself or hiring an agency/freelancers to handle it for you.

What’s more, you won’t even have to look far to find the right platform – Spoonity can already offer you .

For one, Spoonity is fully white-labeled, meaning it’s ready to be branded with your own info and layout, so you don’t have to worry about designing the app.

Plus, you can take advantage of mobile payments and online ordering features, thus improving the customers’ experience, reducing order time. And – why not – pretty much eliminating long lines (which will, in turn, make room for more customers).

Marketing-wise, our platform lets you easily engage with your customers through:

  • Text Messages (SMS)
  • Emails
  • Push Notifications
  • In-app messages

So, promoting unique offers and loyalty rewards will be very straightforward. Not only that, but you’ll also gain access to important info about your patrons, such as where and when they like to buy, what the top-selling items are, and which clients you can successfully turn into brand advocates.

Lastly, we should also mention that users can’t add loyalty points manually. That essentially means that no fraudulent behavior can take place. Oh, and we also provide 24/7 customer care, so we’ll always be there when you need us.

All in all, the end result will be a high-quality mobile loyalty app which you can easily use to promote your loyalty strategies and improve your restaurant marketing results.

restaurant marketing ideas

The Main Points for your Restaurant Marketing Campaign

In case you’re in a hurry and need a quick rundown, here are the main ways to boost your restaurant marketing success rate and promote your loyalty programs:

  • Promote program members who redeem rewards on your restaurant social media pages.
  • Create a banner about the program that links to a landing page, and have it trigger when people (preferably non-members) visit your website.
  • Train your staff to properly promote your program to clients (and also answer any questions they might have). Also, ask them to wear T-shirts that promote the program as well. Just remember to offer them a financial incentive to stimulate their competitive behavior.
  • Use both displays and signage to let customers know about your loyalty program. Be sure to place them around the store (especially near the POS system).
  • Offer an incentive (such as a discount or access to unique restaurant promotions) to entice clients to join your loyalty program.
  • Talk about your loyalty program on your restaurant social media pages. What’s more, have your customers do that as well in order to gain more rewards/points.
  • Team up with a local business or nonprofit to run a dual marketing campaign to get people to sign up for both loyalty programs.
  • Attend local events/festivals, and have your staff wear clothing that promotes the program, place displays near the POS system, and try selling merchandise that advertises your program.
  • Run ads that promote your loyalty rewards and program. You can do it on deal forums, various websites (Craigslist, Kijiji), through Google and Bing, and even in the newspaper (both in printed and digital format).
  • Mention the program in your menu (and on your website menu too). For example, just tell customers how many loyalty points they can earn by buying a certain item.
  • Use your newsletter to let your audience know about your offers. Also, don’t forget about flyers – they are still an efficient restaurant marketing tactic to this day.
  • Promote the program on the app store. Reach a wider audience and improve the customer experience with a high-end mobile loyalty app.

Teodor Marin

Thank you for visiting my profile. Here are a few words about me:

I was born in Transylvania(sorry, I'm not a vampire), but I lived in multiple places across Europe. For the last years, most of my focus went to the digital marketplace. I have been able to leverage my experience to build successful strategies, experiences, and new solutions for both, start-ups and established business.

I can understand exactly what you're looking for with very little direction. I'm an intense listener.

My background is in Online Marketing Consulting - SEO & Content Strategy and Digital Project Management - direction, coordination, implementation, execution, quality control and completion of web & mobile projects.

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