4 Ingredients of Successful Restaurant Loyalty Programs

How do restaurant loyalty programs retain customers? Consumers are surrounded by loyalty propositions in retail and have come to expect a similar offering from the places where they eat out.

How do restaurant loyalty programs retain customers? Consumers are surrounded by loyalty propositions in retail and have come to expect a similar offering from the places where they eat out. As businesses raise the bar in terms of quality, service and environment a reward proposition can be the edge that’s required to beat the competition.

The goals of any good loyalty program should be to:

1. Gather as much information about your customers as possible

2. Use that information to provide loyalty incentives in keeping with their personal preferences

Here are the fundamental ingredients top loyalty programs use to increase customer retention.


Incentives are a given for any loyalty program.

But what types of rewards are you offering and how?

According to data from Oracle, discounts (72%) and freebies (71%) are neck-and-neck in customer preferences. The points-for-purchases format, while effective, may not truly engage your most valuable customers. Think of benefits that would make members feel like they’re really part of something exclusive.

For instance, can you offer your most loyal members the opportunity to taste your new menus before anyone else? Or invite them to member-only events.


A quarter (25%) of UK consumers stop using loyalty programs due to lack of personalisation, reveals our latest Eagle Eye whitepaper.

Customer data can take your loyalty program from so-so, to must-join. By collecting customers’ basic information and tracking their dining habits you’ll be able to provide personalised benefits. One look at your digital promotions platform and you’ll be able to see what dishes they order most frequently, or what drink they ordered on their last birthday.

Such perks earn you points for being relevant and they strengthen the connection that customers have with your brand. Using customer data to provide tailored experiences is more likely to make customers choose you over a competitor.

Nicholson’s Pubs is a great example of a business that gathers information about customers and their purchasing behaviour to inform rewards and retain customers. Gather information on your loyalty program members and then use that information to tailor their rewards and experiences.

Easy Redemption

The top three reasons people leave or stop using a loyalty program are:

  1. Rewards expire too quickly
  2. Rewards are too difficult to earn
  3. Rewards are too difficult to claim/there are too many conditions in place about claiming rewards

(Source: Oracle)

Our platform allows you to create unique, single or multi-use codes to increase the number of coupons redeemed by your customers, by eliminating coupon fraud and enabling targeting and personalisation. Find out more.

Digital Loyalty

The future of loyalty is digital. 59% of older millennials (25-34 year-olds) believe it’s important for a loyalty scheme to offer a digital option.

By rolling out a digital loyalty proposition at your restaurant you and your customers no longer have to worry about leaving reward cards at home. In fact, 18% of shoppers said the biggest complaint they have ever experienced with customer loyalty schemes is the inconvenience of having to remember to bring the physical vouchers or cards with them when they shop.

In 2012 Eagle Eye digitalised Tesco Clubcard vouchers to allow customers to redeem offers immediately across multiple outlets. This means customers can exchange their Tesco Clubcard vouchers for offers redeemable at Pizza Express, Zizzi and Prezzo. Each party is able to track the redemption of offers in real-time. It also enables all parties to increase customer acquisition and drives footfall in to stores and restaurants. Why not boost your loyalty proposition through partnerships?

Find out more about digitising your loyalty program to boost customer retention.

Looking for personalised recommendations for your restaurant loyalty program? Get in touch today.