Thought Leadership

4 Steps to Create an Effective Digital Restaurant Loyalty Program

Apr 29, 2019
The restaurant industry is being shaped by a number of trends – the demand for on-the-go convenience, a very crowded restaurant industry, and smarter Filipino diners.

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“Filipinos are very sophisticated, due to social media exposure and frequent travels. Filipinos are conscious of brands, convenience, taste and right price. They have embraced food concepts from all over the world,” says Rikki Dee, President and CEO of FooDee Global Concepts that include Tim Howan, Pound and Hawker Chan.

The most practical and efficient way to meet these challenges is to seek new technology that allows you to be agile and flexible. The main challenge, of course, is how to integrate digitization in your restaurant that’s both convenient for your operations and customers.

Here’s how:

Prioritize Total Benefits over Price

The first instinct is to check for the pricing, but don’t forget these key requirements:

-Deployment rate – how soon can you launch the digital loyalty program? Time is a cost.  

-Customer and Merchant experience – is it user-friendly for customers as well as the front and back of house? Usability has a huge impact on execution and usage.  

-Rewards and Mechanics – what kind of mechanics are being offered? Each type – points, tiered, and milestones – have their own purpose depending on your goals.

-UI/UX (user interface and user experience) – does it pass the Five-Year-Old Test? If the platform communicates its labels and functions simply and clearly, it sticks to your brain more, significantly easing the learning curve.

-Value-added options – is your mobile app customizable to add other features apart from rewards? User experience is a gamechanger.  

-Hypertargeting – can you gather data and act on them? You need the ability to pinpoint your power users and dormant loyalty members to properly segment your target audience and influence their behavior.  


Focus on Usage

The loyalty program typically has two main goals – increase transactions or basket size. But if you think about it, a long-standing restaurant loyalty program needs both – you need diners to visit regularly and then spend more.

Consider this: It’s great that Jim has chosen your restaurant as a go-to lunch place at work. But it would be better if he could encourage his officemates to tag along, host a birthday treat for his team at some point, and splurge on more expensive menu items other than his usual on payday.  

Apart from rewards and mechanics, make sure that the platform has useful engagement tools and relevant add-ons. The capability to receive updates, multiply points, convert rewards and access convenience services (booking, reservations, etc.) provide more choices to do more.


Establish genuine customer-centricity

There are a lot of moving parts behind the scenes to deliver a product on time or provide quality service. For you to truly be a customer-centric business, you need to consider the direct and indirect factors that can affect their buyer’s journey and digital loyalty experience.


-Sign-up process - how many steps?

-Redemption process - what happens after they earn all the points needed?

-Engagement - will they have access to points, rewards, and updates?

-Feedback - how can they reach you for questions and comments?


-Access for other key decision-makers - how many sub-users can you add in the platform?

-Analytics and data - is the data displayed useful and easy to understand? can you build a customer database?

-Security and privacy - how can you gather important information without violating user privacy?

-Server environment - if your CMS is down what happens to the customer app?

-Vendor support - when are they available?

-Billing - what are their payment methods? is it convenient? what is your grace period before your account gets suspended or terminated?


Secure the Right Platform from the Right People

If a company that sells a loyalty platform but can’t keep their own clients loyal, then there’s something wrong. A business who cares about their customers would have a post-purchase engagement and retention strategy.

Will there be a point of contact such as client success manager or account manager who will maintain the customer relationship? will they offer relevant content that can help you maximize your platform apart from the user manual? are they giving relevant recommendations rather than just the most expensive plan and additional services that only inflate your costs?

Choose a technology partner that will be there throughout your digital journey.


Building a customized solution from scratch comes with huge risks – slow down your time to market and drain money into a solution that already exists. A while label solution is a practical way to get all the features you need and still have full control in-house.

Request a demo today and start creating customers for life.



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