How to Run a Successful Loyalty Program for Chicken Restaurants
Just how important is it to run a loyalty program if you own a chicken restaurant?
Quite important, according to statistics. It seems that loyal customers spend 67% more than new patrons – not to mention that returning customers are more cost-efficient, as acquiring new ones will cost you 5 times more.
And loyalty programs do wonders when it comes to retaining customers – especially for your revenue. In fact, an increase in customer retention as small as 5% can increase profits by anywhere between 25% and 95%!
Also, don’t forget that many chicken restaurants have already started implementing loyalty programs – like Nando’s and Mrs. Winner’s Chicken & Biscuits, for example. Others will likely start doing it too, so it’s a good idea to get a head start against your competition starting now.
Of course, to reap the benefits of customer loyalty, you need to make sure you run an efficient, popular, and successful rewards program too. If you think you’d need some help with that, here are 5 tips to consider:
1. Use and Encourage Customer Referrals
Customer referrals are a good way to drive consumer loyalty and attract new customers at the same time. What’s more, the new customers that get introduced to your brand do so in a positive manner, effectively making it easier for you to win them over.
But don’t just take our word for it – here are a few statistics you should consider:
- People are 4 times more likely to make a purchase when they are referred by a friend.
- Referred customers are likely to bring you at least a 16% increase in profits.
- Referrals are extremely popular with all generations:
- 83% of Gen Z’ers trust referral advertising.
- 85% of Millennials trust referral advertising.
- 83% of Gen X’ers trust referral advertising.
- 80% of Boomers trust referral advertising.
- 79% of Silents trust referral advertising.
- Best of all – patrons who are referred to your brand are 5 times more likely to use your referral program than people who weren’t introduced to your brand this way. That means there’s even more potential to acquire new clients.
In your case, you could offer loyalty program members an option to bring along a friend or family member (or, why not, the whole family) to your restaurant. Basically, the people they refer could get a free meal, drink, and/or dessert, and the customer who refers them should either get a free meal too, or a discount at the very least.
Even better, you could offer the referred friend or family member a few extra points and/or a free reward if they sign up for your program right then and there. Doing this can give people the motivation they need to not only sign up, but also start spending money to earn new rewards.
Yes, doing something like that can be a bit costly, but it can be worth it according to research. If your budget is a bit tight, just offer a small reward or discount – sometimes that’s all the incentive a patron needs to become more loyal to your brand.
2. Promote Your Loyalty Program on Social Media
One of the best ways to ensure your loyalty program will be successful is to mention it on social media as often as you can. The truth is, it’s extremely likely most of your patrons are on social media – given that around 3.196 billion people use it.
We recommend focusing on Facebook specifically, seeing as how 72% of consumers rely on this platform to make restaurant-related decisions. If they look you up and see you have a rewards program, they might be more inclined to dine at your restaurants.
How sure are we of that? Well, keep in mind around 54% of consumers say they would consider doing more business with a brand that has a loyalty program.
Of course, if your time and budget allows it, you should also market your brand and rewards program on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Here are some ideas you should try out:
- When advertising your loyalty program on social media, let users know they can get free points if they sign up for your program through the links you share.
- Use social media to promote rewards that can be redeemed if users sign up for your program on the spot. You can also promote more unique rewards, like a seasonal dish or beverage.
- You can use social media to run polls and see what kind of rewards your patrons would like to get. Once the polls are done, do a giveaway right after to surprise some customers with the new reward.
3. Reward High-Tier Members with Unique Experiences
You should offer the patrons who reach the last tier of your loyalty program a more personalized experience or reward to show them how much you appreciate them and their business.
Since 80% of consumers want a more personalized experience, and are more likely to do business with a brand that offers one, surprising your customers with something like this can significantly work in your favor.
If you’re not sure what kinds of rewards or experiences to offer, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Invite high-tier program members (and let them bring a friend or family member with them) to a tasting event, where they can sample various chicken-based dishes you plan on adding to the menu in the future.
- Let high-loyalty members know about new additions to the menu ahead of time, and offer them a discount when they’re available.
- Throw a dinner party in honor of these members at your restaurant, and let them bring a few friends or family members along with them.
- If you get your meat locally, you could organize a tour of the farm(s) where the chickens are raised for high-tier members who are interested.
4. Brand Your Loyalty Cards Properly + Make Them Easy to Use
A new customer to your chicken restaurant is more likely (a 3 in 10 chance to be exact) to become a recurring patron if there are loyalty cards involved. They are also 46% more likely to spend more money at your restaurant if you offer loyalty cards.
So, rewards program cards are obviously important, which is why you must make sure you brand them properly, and that you make them attractive for customers. Here are some things to consider:
- Make sure your restaurant’s logo is clearly displayed on the card – preferably both on the back and the front.
- The card’s color patterns should represent your brand’s thematic colors. Basically, the idea is that every time a patron open their wallets and glimpses at their loyalty card, they will immediately think of your brand.
- If possible, let customers customize their reward cards with a photo of them, or a favorite quote (or both).
Also, don’t forget to make your loyalty cards easy to use for your customers. By that, we mean designing the cards with a keychain hole in case customers don’t want to just keep it in their wallets.
Besides that, you should also print the restaurant’s address and the store hours on the card. Oh, and if your loyalty program has multiple tiers (which it should), make sure they – along with the redeemable rewards and points that are necessary to unlock them – are adequately displayed on the card, so that your patrons can easily keep track of their progress.
And, naturally, you should let your patrons know you’ll replace their cards if they ever lose them. Just make it possible for them to give you a call or email to let you know they need a replacement. Having the contact details displayed on your cards should do the trick.
It’d be easier for your patrons to ask for a replacement this way than waiting in line.
While we’re on this subject, you should consider having a mobile version developed for your loyalty cards. Why? Well, besides the convenience you’ll be offering your customers, you’ll also be meeting their demands. Don’t forget – around 57% of consumers want to interact with a loyalty program through their mobile devices.
Plus, let’s face it – with a mobile version of your cards, you won’t need to worry about customers losing them, and you having to replace them.
Which actually brings us to our last tip …
5. Complement Your Program with an App
In order to achieve true growth when it comes to your customer base, you can’t just rely on a standard rewards program. You also need to have an app associated with your loyalty program, as people will be much more likely to interact with it and join.
After all, the number of mobile users has long surpassed the number of desktop users, and – by 2020 – the global number of mobile users is expected to grow to around 4.78 billion. Keep in mind the global population is somewhere around 7.6 billion, just to put that number in perspective.
Basically, by going mobile with your rewards program, you’ll likely reach a wider audience. Let’s face it – there’s an extremely high chance that most of your patrons use their mobile phones to access the web, so why not capitalize on that?
Outfit Your App with Mobile Ordering
It will offer your customers more convenience since they’ll now be able to place their order by using their phone, and just stop by your restaurant to pick it up on their way home, to work, or anywhere else.
Just imagine it – a customer who would have loved to order some food from your chicken restaurant but didn’t have time to stop by and wait for the order, or sit down and enjoy a meal, can now make a hassle-free purchase.
Also, you’ll be benefit off of mobile ordering too. For one, it will decrease wait times and make room for more in-store foot traffic from other potential customers. Besides that, though, let’s take a look at the stats as well:
- 67% of consumers who order online will visit the restaurant they order from more frequently.
- Online and mobile ordering is extremely popular with Millennials, with around 79% of Millennials ordering takeout using an app or website.
- 34% of diners say they tend to pay up to $50 when ordering online, while the average spend per person in a full-service restaurant averages around $16-$30.
Don’t Forget about Mobile Payments!
On top of mobile ordering, you should make sure your loyalty program app supports mobile payments too. It’s more convenient for both you and your patrons, and it saves more time.
The revenue of the global mobile payments market is expected to reach $1,080 billion by 2019, with in-store mobile payments accounting for around $503 billion, so the potential for profit can’t be ignored.
Plus, in the US alone, the number of people who use in-store mobile payments is expected to grow to around 150 million by the end of 2020, which would represent approximately 56% of the consumer population in the country. Mobile wallets are also expected to surpass both credit and debit cards by 2020.
Clearly, it’s better to start offering mobile payments now, so that you’ll have an advantage on the market by 2020.
Need Help with This?
Developing an app or hiring an agency to develop it for you can be difficult, time-consuming, and not to mention expensive. Whether you run a small or big restaurant chain, these are the kinds of things you probably don’t want to deal with.
Well, what if there was a better way?
Luckily, there is – with Spoonity, you get direct access to a ready-to-go mobile loyalty platform. And before you ask – yes, our platform is fully white-labeled too, and can be branded with your restaurant’s specific info.
On top of that, Spoonity is integrated with pretty much all the popular POS systems out there, and it offers support for mobile ordering and mobile payments too.
Not only that, but you also get to take advantage of our expertise on loyalty marketing that’s backed by many years of experience.
Basically, we know what it takes to run a successful loyalty program, and we know what steps you need to take to do it.
What’s more, our platform will help you better understand your patrons, and what their needs are. How? By providing you with quality analytics, such as:
- Who your most loyal customers are.
- Who your most profitable customers are.
- Which one of your restaurants is the most popular with your patrons.
- Which items on your menu are top sellers.
- Which day of the week patrons like to shop around the most.
Oh, and our platform comes equipped with handy social media marketing tools to help you leverage online platforms and drive quality word of mouth marketing. We can also outfit your loyalty app with a thematic gamification feature that represents your brand, and encourages your patrons to share their scores on social media – so, more exposure for your restaurant.
If all of that sounds perfect to you, feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions.