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  • January 15, 2021

How to build a restaurant loyalty program your customers will rave about

Amber Trendell
Head of Global Marketing
This is a syndicated post, view the original post here

Much of the magic of food and beverage comes from in-person dining experiences. And while in-person dining will look different for a while, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead.

COVID-19 caused the food and beverage industry to shutdown overnight, with businesses suddenly disconnected from their customers. With many businesses hoping to re-open their doors in 2021, business owners will need a strategy for getting customers in the door.

Customer loyalty programs are an easy way to attract new clients to your business, while rewarding your most loyal customers. This guide will explain why restaurateurs should consider starting their own loyalty program and how Oracle MICROS Simphony can help.

How does a customer loyalty program work?

Customer loyalty programs are fairly straightforward. In exchange for signing up for a businesses’ loyalty program, customers can receive coupons, discounts, or exclusive offers directly from the business. These rewards are often accumulated over a period of time and consumers see more benefits the more frequently they purchase.

Loyalty programs are easy to customize to any size business. Franchises often have Nationwide loyalty programs that customers can use at any location. And for small business owners, loyalty programs are a great way to build buzz around a new storefront.

Patrons don’t want to jump through hoops to redeem their rewards. For this reason, many businesses prefer to use a points-based rewards system that allows customers to accumulate and spend points at their discretion.

If you’re not looking to use a point system for your customer loyalty program, Oracle MICROS Simphony offers an alternative. Oracle’s gift and loyalty program management system allows restaurant owners to deploy various loyalty program types, including visit frequency, dollars spent, items purchased, and more.

Whatever method you choose, it’s important to keep your restaurant loyalty program simple. If customers feel as though your program is too complicated, they may decide it’s not worth enrolling. It should be just as easy for your customers to redeem rewards as it is for them to spend money with your business.

How to build a restaurant loyalty program

Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to build and maintain a relationship with your most frequent diners – but getting started can be overwhelming. The good news is that customers are not shy about telling restaurateurs what they expect out of their loyalty program.

What makes a guest decide to join a loyalty program?

  • 73% of customers say relevant rewards are the most important factor
  • 68% of customers say having rewards that are easy to redeem is important to them
  • 55% of customers say the program interface itself needs to be easy to use

Source: Oracle

Understanding why customers join a loyalty program is just the first piece of the puzzle. Here’s a look at how Oracle MICROS Simphony can help your business deliver a world-class gift and loyalty program that will keep your customers coming back for more.

Invest in the right restaurant loyalty software

Cloud technology makes it easier to get a fully functioning loyalty program up and running with ease. Even before COVID-19 hit the food and beverage industry, things were already trending towards digital solutions. Customers enjoy the flexibility of being able to access information about their favorite restaurants online – and rewards are no different.

In order to stand out among a sea of competing loyalty programs, business owners will need to invest in technology that can grow with them. Many businesses are choosing to invest in all-in-one restaurant point-of-sale solutions like Oracle MICROS Simphony to manage their loyalty programs. These software solutions not only keep track of customer loyalty accounts and points, but they can also fully integrate into other aspects of your business, like online ordering, menu management, and reporting and analytics.

Oracle’s gift and loyalty program management system software also allows your customers to access all of their loyalty program information online. These self-service tools allow guests to review all of their rewards activity, points, discounts, and more in one convenient location. Not only does this give your customers the freedom to manage their accounts, but it also saves your team time not having to find this information for them.

Train your staff on your rewards program

Once you’ve set-up your software and have everything ready for your customers, it’s time to train your staff. It’s important that your staff is aware of how to access the admin interface of your loyalty and rewards system and can assist customers when needed. Even with a fully digital gift and loyalty program, there will always be the need for in-person troubleshooting or customer service.

Oracle MICROS Simphony fully integrates your gift and loyalty information directly into your point-of-sale system, so customers can easily redeem points from any location. It also gives your employees the ability to check and manage customer rewards directly from the system to ensure quick solutions.

Personalize your promotions to fit the customer

Customer loyalty programs only work if customers are enticed by your offer. Knowing exactly what offer will catch the attention of your customers doesn’t have to be a guessing game. With Oracle Simphony, all of your restaurant point-of-sale systems can communicate with each other and share valuable customer information.

Oracle solutions allow for segmentation and exports, so marketing managers can see what customers like and make their outreach more effective. This data can be used to create highly segmented campaigns to deliver targeted offers to loyal customers. By leveraging this user data, business owners can discover patterns in buyer behavior that can inform them on how to improve customer satisfaction.

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