Roshani Patel
Roshani Patel 31 January 2020

Why Do Restaurants Need A Loyalty App in 2020?

Loyalty programs exist to give your customers the benefits of reward points, personalised discounts and make them feel like a valued customer for your business.

Are you only getting started with a restaurant customer loyalty program? Or, do you have one that started with a bang but then tapered off? Either way, this post will help you learn about the ins and outs of restaurant loyalty apps. Before plunging into why restaurants need a loyalty mobile app, let’s understand what all a loyalty program does for a restaurant business.

Loyalty programs exist to give your customers the benefits of reward points, personalised discounts and make them feel like a valued customer for your business. As a result, customers pay more visits, tell people about you, spend more at your restaurant, and choose your services time and again over competitors. 

Whether you are now considering an overhaul of your loyalty program or looking to launch one from scratch, we have a few restaurant loyalty program ideas for you.



Create a Restaurant Loyalty Mobile App

The most trending method today, thanks to the 6.8 billion global mobile users, for restaurants to create a loyalty program is to build a restaurant loyalty mobile app. Mobile apps are convenient for both customers and restaurant managers, besides being the least invasive options. 

The customer can instantly download the mobile app, sign up, and start redeeming rewards through it every time they access your services.

The Benefits of Restaurant Loyalty Program Apps

Need reasons why your restaurant needs a loyalty mobile app?

1. Market to Millennials - There are over 75 million millennials in the U.S. alone. And, 96 percent of them are currently enrolled in a restaurant customer loyalty program. Even if millennials are not your target audience, research shows that a majority of GenXers and adults own a smartphone today. Therefore, people of all ages now use mobile apps for the majority of the things they do. Here’s your chance to market to millennials and other targeted customers.

2. Customise for Customers - A mobile app presents an opportunity for you to personalize all interactions according to the customer’s interest. You can personalize your loyalty program to reward your customers in a way they love it the most. Do they come often? Give them instant discounts. Do they come in large groups? Give them bulk discounts.

3. Build your Brand - A restaurant loyalty program app can be fine-tuned to your brand’s color, tone, and voice. This mobile app can be your best way to become memorable to your customers. In order to build brand loyalty, create a brand-consistent mobile app that reflects your values and all that you stand for as a brand.

4. Seamless POS Integration - A restaurant loyalty app can seamlessly integrate with your POS system. If your app offers online ordering, you’re up for success. Online food ordering is now a segment with a revenue of $107,438 million, with 971.6 million users across the globe.

With a fully-featured restaurant mobile app, you get to award customers for all their experiences with your restaurant- dine-in, food delivery, as well as take-out. Chick-fil-A allows its loyalty members to earn reward points by ordering at the restaurant, through the mobile app, ordering catering online, and by scanning the in-app QR code at the register or in the drive-through.



5. Use Location-awareness - Millennials are looking for new and exciting tech features in every app they interact with. Use geolocation technology to send personalised push notifications and text messages to your customers when they come in proximity to your restaurant. Such technologies can help you restaurant business grow. Send out short surveys, rewards, or loyalty points to your customers while they are dining at your restaurant to make for an exciting experience.

6. Capture Customer Data - Surveys are only one of the ways a loyalty app can help you capture relevant and accurate customer data. Capture their age, birthday, the items they enjoy, and so on to make their rewards more meaningful and individualized to their taste.

7. Sense of Exclusivity - With a mobile loyalty app, you can share exclusive content, news, and promotions with your customers, making them feel they’re part of an exclusive team. You can also give them a voice through social media, forums, and feedback forms.

Tips to get your Restaurant Customer Loyalty Program Right

Here are a few ways you can implement a customer loyalty program.

1. Analyse your competitors - One of the most important things you need to consider is identifying what your competitors are doing and how they’re utilising the loyalty apps.

Here are why and how you can utilize competitive analysis for your restaurant’s loyalty app. 

  • Because they’re still using it.
  • Because you can plan it right. 
  • Because you can define the perfect user experience. 
  • Because your development companies can design it better to improve user experience. 
  • Because you can understand whether their technology is feasible for you or you can opt for a better solution. 

Hence, begin with competitor analysis and then go into the next steps.

2. Integrate a loyalty program into your point of sale.

3. Leverage receipts for customer loyalty - market your restaurant’s loyalty program using receipts as excellent tools. Mention on your receipts that loyalty members get X discounts, rewards, or prizes, and you are sure to create the hype around your restaurant loyalty program.

4. Create a members-only portal on your website, which opens up after entering the receipt number, say. This portal can act as the gateway to rewards for your existing customers.

Since this is a significant investment for your restaurant business, get your loyalty program right with the following quick tips:

  • Keep it simple - It’s all about the user-friendliness and convenience. According to a fresh report, 56% of customers will prefer one loyalty program over another just for ease-of-use. Complicate the program, and you lose customers.
  • Create relationships - Restaurant loyalty programs are a way for you to build personal relationships with your customers. Send them a welcome email, thank them when they submit feedback, offer them a free drink on their birthday, and encourage them to visit soon when it’s been a while.
  • Access a customer’s purchase history immediately at the time of payment by entering their phone number, name, or membership number into your POS system. The points earned throughout their transaction history will then be available for redemption. This is a simple method to run a loyalty program and give your customers the benefit of it every time they pay you.



  • Gamify your loyalty program - Use scratch & win, spin the wheel, and lucky draw features to gamify your customer’s experience of the program. Starbucks’ loyalty app wins at this game as a customer continues to buy products feeling they are inching closer to a free item in the future.
  • Train your staff to promote the program - Offer perks to your staff so they ask every customer at the counter- ‘Are you a member of our loyalty program?’. Train them to tell customers about all the exciting stuff they can expect as part of the program.
  • Augment and share your values - Your restaurant customer loyalty app can be your tool to make customers aware that you are a brand with values. Tell customers you use biodegradable cups, or that you donate leftover food, or that you work with only a select group of socially-responsible suppliers.

Your restaurant loyalty app is so much more than another benefit your customers get and another investment you have to make. It can become the driver of growth for your business when used strategically.

To gain success with the program, you need to partner with a reliable restaurant loyalty program app development company. Choose the right one!

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