Restaurants have always valued loyal customers – they spend more and act as ambassadors to bring in new guests. But the industry now needs them more than ever before.
So why do loyal guests matter? Surveys reveal the statistics:
- 8-30% – the increase in spend and visits attributable to loyalty programmes
- 6% – the average difference between loyalty and non-loyalty checks
- 5-17% – the percentage of total revenue driven by the most loyal 2-17% of customer.*
Wow. Do you need any more convincing?
Well, how about this statistic – the level of inflation at which customer check size drops is 10%. Which is just about where we’re hovering in the UK at the moment.
NFS Technology is the provider of the leading epos software Aloha, and Chief Commercial Officer for restaurant technology, Chris Cartmell, says restaurants are gearing up to deal with new ways customers want to engage with their favourite restaurants.
“Many of our clients now ask us how we can help them to take a more integrated approach to client engagement, loyalty and feedback,” he said.
“Restaurants today need a more holistic approach to their customers, getting a greater understanding of their needs and discovering how to respond to a truly omnichannel client.
“As the inflation figures show, we are also seeing more pressure on restaurant profitability with rising costs and a levelling off in terms of client spend thanks to the economic situation. So for restaurants, a rethink is also required on the best way to discount to incentivise.”
Building a loyal community
Every restaurant wants to be at the heart of a friendly community where customers feel at home. It used to be done by word of mouth, and still is – but far more is achievable now using technology.
Chris said: “The secret of success is to combine a great epos system – that provides excellent customer service including tableside ordering and payment, or kiosk ordering – with a customer experience platform.
“This bolsters and grows your restaurant’s loyalty community in a number of ways.”
5 ways restaurant technology grows loyalty
- It allows you to provide a truly customised one-to-one journey for your guests, combining data and marketing automation in one dashboard.
- You can personalise your digital marketing to a customer’s behaviour and connected to their actual guest spend.
- You can create and deploy omnichannel marketing campaigns in minutes, using core design options that suit your customers’ needs.
- You can encourage increased order frequency by offering combined services – for example, restaurants who combine online ordering and loyalty programmes together report that order frequency rises by 18%.
- Loyalty becomes more enticing to customers. A system that integrates epos and customer experience platforms gives them more ways to enrol and provides more promotion types. The best practitioners say they gain guest participation of 50 to 70%.
The combo that sparks customer understanding
Chris said: “The overall result of combining a good epos software system like Aloha with a customer experience platform is a deeper, more personal knowledge about guests and their behaviours.
“This enables restaurants to establish and grow a loyal community, and reward them for their support – it’s a two-way street.”
Chris and his team are appearing at the Big Hospitality Expo in Olympia to speak to visitors about the new opportunities technology is offering in terms of customer engagement.
He said: “In these tough times, we’re delighted to have such great news to share about the positive steps restaurants can take to put themselves ahead of the competition. We’re looking forward to sharing our tips at the show.”
• Discover more – visit the expert NFS team at stand GA20 at the Big Hospitality Expo from 26-28 September. Register here.
* Source: Paytronix: Loyalty Report 2022