The Asian cuisine restaurant industry has grown on a global scale. According to research from Euromonitor, as highlighted in the 2015 The Washington Post article “Asian food: The fastest-growing food in the world”, Asian fast food restaurants have experienced a global sales growth rate of almost 500 percent since 1999. In fact, as the article mentions, this is “the fastest growth seen in any fast food category around the world”.
Unfortunately, while this sales growth research can be exciting for your business, the McKinsey research about customer loyalty that we are about to highlight may not be as promising. McKinsey discovered that 13% of the consumers from the categories they used to study purchase behavior are considered to be loyalists, which they defined as “those who remained faithful to the last brand they purchased without considering other choices”. Interestingly, on a side note, 42% of consumers stayed with brands that were incumbent. Aside from the loyalists, the other 87% of consumers consisted of 29% that looked around (for at least a little bit of time) but still purchased from the same brand and 58% that switched brands.
To prevent your customers from switching over to your competitors, you can increase customer retention for your Asian cuisine restaurant with one resource: a customer loyalty program. If keeping your customers away from your competitors is not enough, a loyalty program can also help your restaurant benefit from:
- An increase in customer spend and visit frequency (proven to increase up to 40% with Spoonity)
- An increase in the personal relationships with your customers
- An increase in new customers
- An increase in customer lifetime value
- An increase in brand ambassadors
- And more!
These benefits can help make the decision of whether or not to implement a loyalty program into your restaurant an easy decision. While it shouldn’t take too much time to make this decision, it can take time to properly set up your program. To help you effectively launch your own customer loyalty program, below we have listed key steps in the loyalty program launch process.
Starting Your Own Customer Loyalty Program for Your Asian Cuisine Restaurant
Now let’s go through the whole process in detail. Here are the 6 steps to take:
Step 1. Learn More About Your Customers
When it comes to starting a profitable customer loyalty program for your Asian cuisine restaurant, the best place to start is with your current customers. Having already purchased from your restaurant, your current customers can provide insights that can be crucial to develop your loyalty program. By using tools like surveys to better understand your customers, you can tailor your program to meet their expectations to drive them to sign up to your rewards program.
Step 2. Plan The Loyalty Program for your Asian Cuisine Restaurant
Even though you now know what your customers want and can drive them to sign up for your loyalty program, there are a couple of important steps you need to go through before you launch your customer loyalty program. One of these important steps is to plan out all of the crucial details in your program, which includes planning for three key details: your program’s goals, structure, and budget.
2.a Your Goals
The first step in planning your program should be to outline your program’s goals. For example, your goals could include retaining more customers or gaining new customers. By outlining these program goals beforehand, you can structure your loyalty program to align with these goals. This way, your program will be more effective at providing you your ideal results than if you were to run your loyalty program without any set goals.
2.b Your Structure
With goals in mind, now you can plan your program’s structure. When you’re planning your customer loyalty program’s structure, you should start with selecting the type of loyalty program you want to set up for your Asian cuisine restaurant. There are many different types of programs you can choose from, including tiered, point-based, and paid programs. Although each type of program can benefit restaurants in different ways, the program you select should align with the goals you established in the previous step.
Tip: make sure that your loyalty program has a simple structure as a program with a complex structure will deter your customers from joining your program.
Structuring Your Loyalty Program: Meet Fresh Case Study
To help you create your own loyalty program, we have highlighted the loyalty program of Spoonity customer Meet Fresh USA as an example. Continue reading below to learn more about how the Taiwanese dessert restaurant chain structured their loyalty program.
With Spoonity as their loyalty program provider, Meet Fresh launched their branded point-based Rewards program with their own points system. Specifically, 50 points accounted for 1 dollar. Using this system, they structured their loyalty program to have different rewards based on how much customers spend. From free toppings to free meals, the more points customers collect, the bigger the rewards they will receive.
As you can see from the image above, in terms of rewarding customer behaviours, there seems to be two main types of customer behaviours that are being rewarded: those who join the loyalty program and those who continue to use it to purchase items. For example, for people not a part of the loyalty program, they offered a free drink for customers who signed up. For current program users, on the other hand, they gave them access to their promotions and deals before others (they receive a notification via email and in-app). They also, as mentioned above, offered points for customer purchases so customers can exchange them for rewards. If that’s not enough, they combined their online ordering platform with the loyalty program, which helps customers conveniently make purchases and earn rewards in one place.
All in all, we hope this example can help you when you are in the process of structuring the loyalty program for your restaurant.
2.c Your Budget
Having a budget is extremely important for running a loyalty program. After all, you want to make sure that you are spending enough money to effectively entice your customers to continue to order from your restaurant — without having to break the bank. Unfortunately, this was not the case for the hot pot restaurant in China called Jiamener. They had customers eating so much food during their cheap all-you-can-eat deal that they had to close their business during the promotion. Sadly for the restaurant, they were in a lot of debt. In fact, it was reported that they were nearly $80,000 in debt!!
To avoid disastrous financial situations like this, creating a loyalty program budget can be a resourceful asset to your restaurant. When creating this budget, one method to consider is having two separate budgets: one for retaining your current customers and the other one for gaining new customers. By having a set budget to stick to, you can worry less about potentially overspending on your restaurant’s loyalty program.
Step 3. Find the Right Customer Loyalty Program Provider
While you can design a customer loyalty program on your own, you could also find a provider to utilize their software and expertise. Why is this important?
“Working with experts to develop your loyalty program can help significantly decrease the time to implement the program, avoid common pitfalls that can negatively impact your customer experience, and provide a suite of data insights to help grow your business.” Max Bailey, CEO and Co-Founder of Spoonity
If you are in need of a loyalty program provider to help you with your customer loyalty program project, reach out to Spoonity. Spoonity can provide your Asian cuisine restaurant with a customizable, data-driven customer loyalty program to help turn your loyal customers into brand ambassadors. We make it easy to start and run your loyalty program by offering constant support to help your restaurant throughout every stage of the launch.
Step 4. Implement Your Rewards Program
Now that your customer loyalty program is ready to be introduced to your customers, the next step is to implement it into your business. At the end of this stage, you should have everything already set up and ready to go. This includes ensuring that your loyalty platform has successfully integrated with your POS system, so it doesn’t impact your daily operations, customers’ experiences, or the data you collect.
Tip: consider implementing a loyalty platform that is easy to integrate with your restaurant’s POS system. For example, if your restaurant uses Oracle’s Micros POS system, find a loyalty program provider that can easily integrate a loyalty platform with this system (like Spoonity!).
Once this step is complete, you are ready for the next step: promoting the program to your customers.
Step 5. Promote Your Loyalty Program
After following all of these steps, it is finally time to introduce your new digital loyalty program to your customers. There are many different promotional tactics you can use, including promoting the program on your restaurant’s social media accounts, promoting it on its website, or using email marketing to promote it.
While there are many digital promotional tactics you can use, you should also promote your loyalty program in your restaurant. For example, you could include in-store banners and flyers to promote it. You should also train your cashiers and waiters to ask your customers if they want to sign up, so you can sign up even more customers to your program. This is important considering that the more people you motivate to sign up, the more loyal customers your restaurant could gain.
Step 6. Keep the Rewards Program Success
Although you have successfully set up a customer loyalty program for your Asian cuisine restaurant, you need to update the loyalty program (if needed) to keep up with your customers’ needs. After all, you want to help ensure that your program is a success in the long-term. To help keep your loyalty program running in the long-term, you should continuously collect customer feedback. With Spoonity as your program provider, you can easily collect feedback on the platform using the feedback tool to collect loyalty program ratings. As a bonus, you can also collect customer ratings on your restaurant’s service and food!
From learning more about your customers to keeping your loyalty program up-to-date, following these steps will help you effectively start a customer loyalty program and subsequently help you start generating customer loyalty. If you want to grow your restaurant’s loyal customer base with a customer loyalty program platform that has been proven to increase customer spend and visit frequency by up to 40%, then reach out to Spoonity.