What Makes a Restaurant Loyalty Program Great? Essential Ingredients for Maximum Engagement in F&B Loyalty – By Shannon Straub

Loyalty programs offer enormous opportunities for your food and beverage operation. They encourage repeat business, increase check averages, and provide opportunities to drive personalized guest experiences. You will gain insight into your guest’s habits, demographics, and preferences, enabling you to create enticing offers that drive revenue. By offering personalized and frictionless experiences, guests are much more likely to stay loyal, ultimately driving business away from your competitors.

To help you understand what makes loyalty programs most effective, Oracle Hospitality conducted a survey of 6,500 consumers. The consumers surveyed were a random population of individuals across all age groups and in 8 different countries. The survey looked at all aspects of a loyalty program including the rewards they like to receive, how they like to receive them, and the reasons they stop using a specific loyalty program. We then compiled this data into a report; Recipe for Engagement: Essential Ingredients for a Restaurant Loyalty Program. Below is a highlight of our findings from the report.

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How many consumers have joined restaurant loyalty programs?

Consumers want to join loyalty programs. In the US, 65% of consumers are already members of one or more program. Even in Japan, where the lowest percentage of consumers were already members of a program from our survey, nearly one-third were already members. This opens a significant opportunity for disruptive innovation while implementing loyalty. 

What medium do consumers prefer for restaurant loyalty programs?

At 62% overall, plastic swipe cards were the most preferred method across all generations. Mobile apps were also highly preferred. At a 56% preference, Millennials wanted to use apps for loyalty programs and 50% of Gen Xers also agreed that apps are a preferable method. These two mediums provide a way to gather valuable guest data and deliver the personalized experience that guests increasingly demand.

What makes a guest decide to join a loyalty program?

We found that the rewards must be relevant and easy to redeem for consumers to decide to join a loyalty program. It should come as no surprise that consumers enjoy perceived savings. Money off of every purchase (71%) and free products (63%) were the top two most attractive rewards to consumers. Loyalty programs will deliver value to both the guest and business when implemented effectively.   

Find more statistics and insights in the report 

Loyalty programs provide restaurant operators with a number of opportunities: reward loyal guests to increase revenue through repeat business and upsell opportunities, create a marketing database for personalized and targeted promotions, and provide a foundation for promotions that guests will find useful and want to redeem. 

To maximize ROI, it’s essential for operators to leverage a comprehensive loyalty platform that is integrated to the restaurant’s POS system. Non-integrated and 3rd party systems slow down the operation and cause disparate data collection. The Oracle Hospitality cloud solution set for food and beverage provides the tools you need to create and execute the best loyalty strategy for your operation. Oracle Hospitality Gift and Loyalty Cloud Service allows you to combine discounts and coupons, gather guest transactional and demographic data, and implement gift, stored value and payment cards – all through online administration. Combined with Oracle Hospitality Reporting & Analytics Cloud Service, you can monitor the effectiveness of active loyalty promotions and examine reports featuring comprehensive sales, financial and operational information. 

Ready to start engaging your guests? Give us a call at (866) 287-4736 or email us today!