Even if first-time diners have an incredible experience - the food is exceptional and the wait staff delivers outstanding service - there’s no guarantee they will return, especially in areas with plenty of choices.

Many restaurant owners are turning to loyalty programs to turn diners into regulars. Rewards systems convert dollars spent into points which can be redeemed once the dollar amount reaches a milestone; these rewards are either discounts or freebies. According to studies:

  • When customers know they will receive rewards (that are worthwhile to them) they will increase their number of visits.
  • When they come close to receiving their reward, they’re more likely to spend more in order to get their reward faster.
  • When they redeem their reward, they will also spend more.

On paper, loyalty programs work. However, they have their disadvantages if not implemented properly, including:

  • Too difficult to join:
  • who wants to spend time filling out a form when they’re having dinner - or remember to fill it out when they get home? Solution: make it easy for them! Ensure they can do it from their phone or at the point of purchase and minimize the information needed.

  • No immediate incentive to first-time diners
  • who may not see the immediate value of joining a loyalty program. Solution: offer an immediate reward such as a discount on their meal if they join; or a free appetizer or drink on their next visit.

  • Too much work:
  • who wants to carry around a stack of loyalty cards? In today’s digital age, that’s a ridiculous thing to ask. Solution: the simplest way to track visits is using a POS system that automatically assigns reward points as your diners pay their check.

  • The rewards are not personalized:
  • if the customer doesn’t care about a generic reward, they won’t use the program. Solution: provide them with choices such as whether they would prefer a free appetizer, free drink, or a dollar amount discount.

Now that you know how to turn diners into regulars, put your restaurant in the public’s hungry eye by using GrabQpons - a convenient, easy, location-based app that connects you with prospective diners and lets you offer real-time deals they will love!