A New Perspective on Special Offers in the Restaurant

Providing special offers such as ‘daily deals’ and ‘happy hours’ in the restaurant is nothing new. That said, creation and participation in such programs can be a rather costly affair. As a result, an increasing number of chain and independent restaurants alike have been creating, managing, and posting their own special offers and coupons on their websites and utilizing the new technology that is available as a cost-effective means of stimulating more visits from their best customers.

Giving Your Best Restaurant Customers Exclusive Benefits

The general rule of thumb is that 80% of your restaurant’s business comes from about 20% of your customers. Therefore, it makes sense to do everything within your power to reward that 20% for their patronage. While it’s smart to have regular coupons posted on your website which any consumer can use, it’s even smarter to provide exclusive coupons and offers to your most loyal customers.

Typically, this is done through the creation of membership programs or the joining of exclusive mailing lists. A recent study by LoyaltyPulse shows that 77% of participants feel that the most important feature of a loyalty program would be earning points toward free or discounted meals. Another 70% said they would like to receive unexpected benefits in the restaurant, such as receiving a free appetizer or dessert. Special birthday coupons were in high demand for 72% of participants, and an additional 58% wanted holiday coupons and discounts for trying new menu items. More that 50% said that being the recipient of exclusive offers unavailable to non-members was their primary motivator for joining.

Cause-related marketing is also powerful and using the technology that is available would allow you to easily set up a system in which you donate x% of a customer’s bill toward the charity of their choice. Additional examples of exclusive membership rewards include offering a certain percentage off their ticket during their entire birthday month or even year-round discounts for members!

Tailoring Your Special Offers to the Unique Tastes of Each Customer

With the technology that we have available to us, it is easier than ever to create highly customized, special offers unique to each customer. For example, if a customer never orders dessert when they visit your restaurant, it’s useless to send them a coupon for discounted dessert!

Instead, it is far more powerful to send that customer a coupon for a meal or food item that they regularly order when they visit your establishment. Not only does this increase the likelihood that they will actually use the coupon, but it demonstrates that you are really paying attention to what they like and are doing everything within your power to reward them for giving you their business.

Utilizing Technology to Track and Retain Customers

Aside from allowing you to really customize coupon deals, using technology to track your customers’ behavior also tells you important information such as how frequently they come to your restaurant. This is useful because if a customer who normally comes in once a week hasn’t shown up for three weeks straight, you can set up the system to automatically generate, say, a 10% off coupon to be delivered to their in-box, encouraging them to return.

The take-away message here is that it is critical to look for creative ways to engage and exclusively reward your most loyal customers. With the technology that we now have available to us, this is a task that is easier than ever to do.

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