The restaurant industry is often one where having the edge in terms of promotions can help a business win. If a restaurant is operating in an area where customers have a lot of choices, the best offers, as well as good food and good service, can frequently end up being the decision maker for people planning to eat out.
Loyalty schemes and other promotions can help restaurants get more tables full in their quieter periods, can inspire people to choose their venue for events like birthdays or office nights out where they tend to spend more, and can even encourage people to spread the word about the restaurant to others.
Technology has begun, in the last decade or so, to play a big part in this, as it can offer so many ways for people to hear about, receive, and redeem offers and rewards.
Social Media Rewards
One of the easiest ways a restaurant can use technology for promotions is by having social media-related rewards. Rewards can be offered for following the restaurant’s Twitter account or Facebook page, and then followers can be offered special codes or printable vouchers periodically too. Some restaurants go a step further, using things like hashtags or check-ins on social media as a way people can earn more discounts by telling their friends they are visiting their venue.
This can be a great way to harness word of mouth advertising online while also giving the customer something they see as valuable for performing a simple task that costs them nothing – a social media win-win.
Casual dining restaurants, takeaways and coffee bars have long offered stamp cards that allow users to claim a free snack or drink after a certain number of purchases, but some restaurant technology loyalty points can be taken to a new level. Some places join loyalty scheme programs that use apps to allow customers to collect and redeem points, whereas others allow customers to register on a system with their email address to obtain points when they visit or book a table.
There are lots of ways this sort of thing can be implemented, and the more innovative restaurants get with loyalty programs, the higher the rewards for their businesses, too.
Clubs and Mailing Lists
Some restaurants aim to turn guests into repeat visitors by allowing them to join a members’ only ‘club’ with perks like a free entree or beverage on their birthday, special discounts, and offers, and a newsletter informing them about any upcoming events or new menu items. This can be a great way to get customers on their databases and be able to market to them directly. Email marketing can be even more effective than social media marketing when it comes from a source the user has chosen to receive news from, as it is nearly always seen.
These are just three of the ways restaurants use online technology and their own software to hold promotions and schemes that make customers keep coming back!