If your restaurant is anything like a typical sit-down restaurant, what looks calm from the customer’s point of view can be controlled chaos behind the scenes. Between staffing shifts, training new employees, giving your patrons an enjoyable experience, making sure your produce is fresh and your kitchen is running smoothly and efficiently, your day-to-day is filled to the brim with tasks large and small that demand your attention.
So how does customer loyalty fit in? Interested in reaping the many benefits of a customer loyalty program like FiveStars, but worried you’re going to add yet another item to your already full plate? Look no further than our comprehensive guide to implementing a customer loyalty program at your sit-down restaurant. In a few simple steps, you can get your program up and running, and see the power of customer loyalty in action.
Empower your servers to run your loyalty program
Your servers are your best ambassadors, and a couple additions to their workflow could ensure the success of your program.
- Create sign-up cards that your server can include with the bill (it’s pretty easy to slip them into check holders—just make sure they’re in a place they can be seen). If you’re a FiveStars customer, ask us to send you some!
- If time or budget doesn’t allow this, you can alternately set up your receipts to print with a custom message introducing the program at the bottom, with a space for the customer’s phone number.
- Do a quick add to the server’s script to pitch the program. It can be as easy as, “Check out the signup card to learn about our customer loyalty program and if you’re interested, I can sign you up!”
- Once the server gets the check back (with the signup card with the customer’s phone number), they can ring up the check, enter the phone number, and assign points at the same time.
- By the time they give the final receipt back, the customer should have received the welcome text message, which the server can confirm.
- Optional, but awesome: Create signage or stickers that advertise your customer loyalty program and display them in your restaurant. That way, your customers will already be familiar and interested in the concept, and might even beat your server to mentioning it!
Set up a Text-to-Join code
Simplify the sign-up process by setting up a Text-to-Join code so that your patrons can sign themselves up right from their table!
- Get your restaurant-specific code—if you’re a FiveStars customer, you can request one here.
- Spread the word! Print table tents with info about your program and how to sign up using the code. Distribute these tents to your tables, the hostess stand, and anywhere else you think it will catch your customers’ eye. Get more ideas here.
- Make sure to include some of your rewards (e.g. 100 points = 1 free appetizer, etc) on your table tents to get your customers interested.
- Have your servers mention the rewards program and offer to answer any questions.
- Sit back and watch your customers take the lead! Once they text the code, they’ll be added to your program, and you can send them promotional messages and award points.
These time-tested strategies have had big payoffs for other restaurant businesses, and we think they’ll be great for your business, too. Of course, every business is as unique as their customers, so feel free to tweak these tips to fit yours!