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3 common loyalty program mistakes

Building a community among customers is a brilliant way to promote your brand and as such you’ll see many types of businesses running a loyalty program. It’s a particularly good technique for marketing for restaurants and when done right will create a real buzz about your brand and encourage repeat customers. It’s seven times more expensive to market to a new customer than an existing one and loyalty programs allow you to communicate with those who already love what you do. However, loyalty programs can be tricky to get exactly right. Here are three common mistakes that businesses make:

1. Making it too hard to join

When people visit a restaurant or cafe, they’re there for a reason. Whether it’s to meet friends or enjoy some quiet time with a coffee, one thing’s certain: they don’t want to be bothered. If joining a loyalty scheme involves filling out forms or talking to a member of staff for an extended time, you’ll notice that interest plummets and sign-ups may be few and far between. Try making it easier by introducing an online membership or app, so that all your customers need to do is pop on to their phone and sign up in seconds.

2. Investing in plastic loyalty cards

We all know someone with a purse stuffed full of plastic loyalty cards and so this may be the first thing that springs to mind when you consider your loyalty program. However, plastic cards are expensive and easily lost. Going digital is a far more efficient way to run a loyalty scheme, as people rarely leave the house without their mobile. Expecting your customers to remember your card every time they go out is unrealistic.

3. Not tracking usage

With plastic or cardboard loyalty cards it can be very hard to track how often the cards are being used, analyse results and allow you to offer bigger rewards to more frequent visitors. It’s vital to know these stats in order to market to the right people and the right time and an app could do it all for you.

If you would like to learn more about a bespoke loyalty application for your restaurant, contact 5loyalty today, to see how we can help. (https://www.5loyalty.com/contact/)

Photo: Loyalty Cards by Jonathan Rolande licensed under Creative commons 4
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Six social media tips to promote your restaurant’s brand and deals

The key with social media is to know how to use it smartly. If you have a Twitter and/or Facebook account, utilise the social platforms each day. These six social media strategies can market your restaurant, build a loyal customer base and increase visitors.

Deal of the day or week

If you have a deal of the week or day, tweet your offer out each day that it is available. Make sure that you adapt the tweets so they are fresh. Use keywords and hashtags such as #deal or #offer to engage with the right audience.

Location

Use your location to your advantage. In your tweets and sharing on social media, hashtag your location. This could increase the footfall to your restaurant.

The power of retweets

Encourage your followers to retweet your offers using the hashtag #RT. This will engage more readership of your offers, more potential followers and visitors to your restaurant seeking your offers. You could even offer a free ‘deal of the week or day’ the most engaged tweeter from your followers.

Facebook campaigns

A simple campaign on Facebook promoting your offers and deals can reach hundreds of potential new customers. Campaigns don’t have to cost lots of money – you can select how long you would like Facebook to promote your campaign to suit your budget. Select the target market to receive your offer based on location or interests to engage the right people.

Set up a restaurant forum

Setting up a forum for your restaurant on your Facebook page will encourage customers to share their thoughts and views for others to read. Readers of positive feedback can increase your brand awareness. Engage with the comments you receive – be seen to be active and friendly with your fans.

Create a Facebook page

A Facebook page is a sure way to ensure customers know when your deals and offers are on. It can also increase a following of potential future customers. New likes by followers will be viewed by the new follower’s social group, which could further increase brand awareness and interest in your restaurant.

Read the 5loyalty blog to find out more about how you can make the most of social media for your restaurant.

Photo: Facebook by chriscorneschi licensed under Creative commons 5
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4 reasons why you should take reservations via an app

The digital age has affected many businesses in various sectors, and for most this is a positive. Going online has allowed companies to reach out to new customers, along with staying connected with existing ones, and the opportunities are endless. Mobile apps are a must have, especially for restaurants and cafes – here are four reasons why all restaurants should take reservations online with the help of an app:

1. They save staff time

When customers manage their own bookings, you free up your staff to be on hand onsite. With less phone calls coming through, staff can focus all their attention on the customers who are already in the restaurant, offering a higher and more efficient level of customer service.

2. They’re easily manageable

An online booking system is far more efficient than writing names and times into a notebook. Avoid double bookings or mistakes with a system that manages everything for you. Customers will be able to book their table 24/7, meaning you never miss out on an opportunity to secure that booking and you’ll easily be able to see how many bookings you have and check customers in when they arrive.

3. They capture customer details

When customers book through the app, you can ask for contact details, such as name, phone number and email address before asking permission to send offers and updates. This helps you to effectively build your customer database and reach out to customers whenever you need to.

4. Important information can be shared

With in-app bookings, you can create an option for customers to leave important information. Everything from allergies and dietary requirements to whether or not they’re visiting for a special occasion can be tracked here. Not only does this allow for you and your staff to be ready for a booking with all the little details already accounted for, it will lead again to an extraordinary level of customer service that won’t go unappreciated.

If you’d like to start taking in-app reservations today, then contact us at 5loyalty to see how we can help you.

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How loyalty programmes keep them ‘appy!

Every business knows the value of making a happy customer. There are many ways to do this; great service, great products, great staff…but one of the less obvious ways is having an outstanding loyalty/rewards programme. Thanks to our modern age, loyalty cards are a thing of the past and loyalty apps seem to be the way forward. So, what are the benefits of a loyalty system and how does it keep those customers, and business owners, so happy?

1. Customers feel a part of something

Everyone likes to feel included and customers in many industries, including restaurants and food, love to know that they are a part of something. With a loyalty scheme you can offer exclusive offers, discounts and rewards and in no time at all your customers will feel like VIP members of your business.

2. Business owners receive repeat custom

Restaurants, coffee shops and cafes are not hard to come by, so potential customers are spoilt for choice. You can’t guarantee they’re going to choose you, but a loyalty scheme makes them much more likely to. Being able to earn points, collect rewards or receive a discount are all strong incentives and can easily sway that all important decision your way. ‘Appy business owners, indeed!

3. Direct communication

Having an app is a sure-fire way to get in touch with those all-important previous customers and keep your business fresh in their minds. Either through in-app messages or notifications sent directly to their phones, you’ll be able to reach out to your database any time. It works to the customer’s favour too. With the app on their phone, they can easily contact you, find out information about offers, browse a menu or book a table with just the swipe of a finger. So, this means easy marketing for businesses and easy communication for the customer. Everyone’s a winner, which means everybody’s happy!

It’s undeniable that keeping customers happy is the most important thing, but loyalty apps offer so much more than the points raised above. Contact us at 5loyalty today to find out more about bespoke mobile applications for your business.

Photo: Friends with Mobile Phones by garryknight licensed under Creative commons 4
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An easy guide to keeping your team motivated and making sales grow

Are you certain that you are doing everything right when it comes to your restaurant but just aren’t seeing the results? Well, we hate to break it to you, but you can have all the technology, strategies and money in the world – yet if your staff/team is not up to scratch, your food establishment will not soar. However, it is easier than ever to relight the motivational spark within your team and before you know it, you’ll be seeing the results you have always wanted.

Communicate better

Communication is often overlooked both when dealing with customers and also internally within the team. Communicate frequently and face-to-face. You don’t want to be known as the unapproachable boss who never comes out of their office. Your staff need to know that they are valued. Lead by example and remember to show your excitement about the company’s goals. Good moods are infectious – especially in the workplace.

Modernise your restaurant

The restaurant sector is busy and often you can get caught up in marketing campaigns, finances and looking at customer satisfaction without tracking your successes and making sure that your team are ok. Imagine if your staff could see their work paying off with clear evidential proof of success – it’s got to be uplifting, right? Additionally, what is the point of putting in all the hard work if you don’t know how it’s being received? The world is changing and when implemented in the correct way, change can be exciting. Using social media marketing campaigns is now a necessity – why not use it to your advantage and then track the results?

Your employees are more motivated when they know they’re working towards something. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you but in today’s world, you should be using social media. If you can’t get your head around it, then take a look at your team – there is bound to be someone who enjoys it and would love the new opportunity. Let it become their project. Having active social media accounts is just one way of securing your brand’s reputation but also allows for constant business to consumer communication. Instead of viewing social media as ‘a young person’s thing’, think of it this way – using social media is free and a great way to get the word out about you and your product.

Make work fun

It is important to remember that as long as deadlines are met and the work is getting done, it is okay to have some fun. Why not order the occasional lunch in for everyone, pop to the pub one Friday afternoon, or plan a summer BBQ for everyone and their partners?

If your staff can see that your business is falling behind with the times, then they are never going to be motivated. Keep work interesting and test out different marketing activities and tools. Embrace new technology, promote your brand and think of ways to better your food establishment.

If you would like some more information or if you have any questions about how to motivate your team in order for sales to grow, then please get in touch.

Photo: Social Media by magicatwork licensed under Creative commons 4
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Promote your business and excite your customers with a creative loyalty app

Ever wondered how you can make the most of your present loyal customers, and encourage new customers to choose your restaurant over your competition time and time again? In a world of fast food apps and instant-order website, it’s all about setting out your digital brand as something that’s unique, exciting and rewarding to your customers.

Utilising a loyalty app is a fantastic way to keep your customers connected to your restaurant business. Not only is your brand right there on their phone, it gives you the opportunity to gather information from customers for email marketing, send them handy notifications and collect information about what they want and need. With so many restaurants making the leap to digital service and digital loyalty schemes, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips and tricks you can try to get those customers coming back to gain those points:

Offer options

The mistake that some loyalty apps make is to make their loyalty prizes set – maybe it’s a particular dessert, an alcoholic drink or something else. It’s easy to isolate customers by being too specific; after all, what if they don’t drink or don’t like pudding? A great way around this is to have multiple options your customers can pick from. Maybe after ten visits, they can get a free drink, dessert or starter – or they could save up 30 visits for a free meal for one.

Reflect your brand ideals

Don’t sell yourself short – if your restaurant is all about quality, then don’t make yourself look cheap by giving a lot away! Your loyalty scheme should represent the kind of establishment you run, and your loyalty prizes should reflect this. If you have multiple restaurants, you can offer cross-brand loyalty schemes too, getting more exposure for all your businesses in one go.

Integrate digital into your establishments

Make it easy for customers to use your loyalty scheme – include a QR code to the app on the back of your menus, or offer a physical card to work with your app to keep your brand at the forefront of their mind. You can even include the number of visits until their next reward on their receipt, or encourage social media reviews by offering extra loyalty points when they’re completed. Gamification will get your customers involved and excited to return to you.

Photo: Woman holding phone by MadFishDigital licensed under Creative commons 4
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3 advantages of in-app ordering

We live in a tech-savvy world and with a generation of smartphone users out there, it’s no wonder that so many industries are finding more and more ways to incorporate technology into their businesses. For restaurants and coffee shops this is no exception, with digital loyalty cards becoming increasingly popular. As well as opening up opportunities to grow a customer base, encourage loyalty and offer rewards, it’s also possible to offer in-app ordering. Yes, your customers could order their food and drink quickly and easily using their mobile phones. Here are three brilliant advantages of this feature:

1. Customer satisfaction

Ordering from an app makes the customer’s experience more enjoyable. They can avoid queuing, browse the menu at their own leisure and place their order from the comfort of their chair. In-app ordering also allows for more accurate orders and therefore fewer mistakes will be made, making their overall experience an extremely positive one.

2. Encourages higher spends

In-app ordering allows you the option to showcase your entire menu clearly as well as the chance to offer up sales or additional items. With the potential stress of long queue times taken out of the equation, customers are more likely to take their time ordering, giving them more time to discover specials or pick extra sides and drinks.

3. Encourage reviews and feedback

When a customer signs up for your app you’ll then be able to market to them through it. If they use the app to order their food you can prompt them to leave a review on social media or your website. Their overall positive experience should encourage them to leave you positive feedback which is great for customer engagement. The app will also make the reviewing process quick and simple, meaning more customers will take the time to do so.

There’s even more good news; acquiring a custom, fully branded loyalty app complete with in-app ordering, as well as many other amazing features, is much easier and more affordable than you may think. If you’re considering one for your business and have any questions, speak to 5loyalty today (https://www.5loyalty.com/contact/) to see how we can help.

Photo: Wheelmap App iPhone by SOZIALHELDEN licensed under Creative commons 4