It seems these days that any place you visit you're faced with a new loyalty program. From airlines to credit cards to coffee shops, businesses have learned that customer loyalty is a powerful tool, just so long as you're able to harness it effectively. Some might argue that restaurants are one of the most popular types of loyalty programs available. We were curious what makes a loyalty program really effective, so we asked 500 Kansans, "What is your favorite restaurant loyalty program?" Here are the results:
1st Place - McDonald's
2nd Place - Panera
3rd Place - Starbucks
4th Place - Red Robin
Close Contenders included Old Chicago, Papa John's, Buffalo Wild Wings and Chili's.
Results lined up a little differently when looking at responses among men verses women. For men, McDonald's was the clear winner followed by Old Chicago. For women, Panera was the clear winner followed by Starbucks.
Now, what do these programs have in common?
1. Freebies & Discounts The most popular programs offer birthday freebies as well as regular offers and discounts. These offers should all be easily tracked so that you can see which offers are popular and which are not. Consider a program that offers a free item after a certain number of purchases. This ensures they visit your restaurant several times before they can take advantage of their reward.
2. Accessibility You don't have to have an app to have a successful loyalty program (although it doesn't hurt) but you do have to make it easy for your customers to use. Whether it's by looking up their phone number or birthday, you should make it as easy as possible for your customers to earn loyalty points. Don't expect them to remember their loyalty card or number.
3. Speed Another common denominator among the most popular loyalty programs is a speedier buying process. With Panera's rapid pick-up, one can place and pay for their order online and it will be ready for them on a shelf when then arrive. This saves customers time by allowing them to skip the line completely. Starbucks lets customers pay using their mobile app, allowing a quicker checkout for loyalty rewards members.
Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association, Thank you! They have done a wonderful job and we have become very dependent on their services. Their staff is outstanding in their assistance and guidance. I would recommend them to anyone seeking their services. Thank you!
"I would tell someone considering membership in KRHA, that their involvement in KRHA will not only potentially save them a lot of money thru their insurance products, it will also help them thru the Education Foundation and the educational products that we offer like ServSafe training, the insurance products and their ability to have their voice heard at the state and national level."