Restaurant Management Tips

Restaurant loyalty programs have gotten a bad rep in recent years. Many people have advised restaurants not to use these programs at all, as most programs fail. However, having repeat business at a restaurant is vital for its success, and loyalty programs can help businesses achieve more regular customers than without a program in place and incentivize them to come in more frequently. Instead of skipping over the entire rewards concept, create a refined program your customers will love – we will show you how.

Loyalty programs are put in place to incentivize your regular customers to return again and again. When designing your loyalty program, ensure the program has easily defined rewards. If you say that 15 points equals two dollars in rewards, and every 10 dollars equals a five dollar gift card, the calculation process becomes more difficult than the reward is worth it. Instead, make the reward easy to understand. A program that offers a 15% discount on the 10th visit, or a 50 dollar gift card after spending 500 dollars requires no thinking on the consumer’s part and gives them a clear incentive to return.

If you want a more elaborate loyalty program that rewards customers who spend more, look to Chick-Fil-A’s tiered membership. The program is tracked with an app, and rewards members more points per dollar spent once they reach new tiers based on how much they have spent throughout the year. The rewards are still clear-cut and convenient for customers while enticing them to spend more to save more.

Give Your Customers Options

A sushi restaurant that offers free edamame after five visits may be a great promotion for some customers. But for those who do not care for the popular Asian legume, the incentive is as good as no incentive at all. Instead, give your customers the option to choose an appetizer of their choice. Another option is to give different incentives for incremental visits. So, edamame may be a five visit incentive, but a free sushi roll is a fifteen visit incentive. This gives the customer more options and more reasons to continue to return.

Some loyalty programs offer to keep rolling your points towards a better prize or cash out your points for something small. For instance, say your customer has 10 points and can get a free drink, or they can choose to stack up those points to 100 for a free entrée instead.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

At this point, flimsy, easily lost loyalty punch cards should not be in your restaurant’s vocabulary. There are too many easy-to-use websites and mobile apps that make calculating points and incentives a breeze. Consider apps like SpotOn or Belly, where a customer simply checks into a restaurant via a mobile app to gain points. Both the customer and restaurant can then view how many check-ins they have, and what they need to get a reward.

Because restaurant-goers are more apt to use an app than a website to use their loyalty rewards, having an app in place can help boost your enrollment. App-based loyalty programs drive clients to share socially, interface on unique events, acquire customized rewards, and get benefits without expecting to acquire endless punch cards and keep them on hand at all times.

Apps for Loyalty Members and how they work

Lavu’s Loyalty App

The Lavu loyalty platform powers exquisite, all-inclusive loyalty programs to enchant customers to return again and again. The program features benefits such as pay-in-app and prepaying for meals for loyalty members, saving them time and hassle.  Customers also have the option to check-in to your location through the app to earn loyalty points. The program is flexible enough to work with existing email lists, CRMs, and payment gateways that your restaurant already has in place. Using our loyalty program integrated with our already extensive reporting system in conjunction with our POS will help you get to know your customers better and upsell their favorite items to them.


Belly’s restaurant loyalty program enables customers to access multiple loyalty programs in one app. By joining their network your business and loyalty program will be visible to local shoppers who haven’t visited your eatery in the past, expanding your reach beyond customers who are already loyal to your business. Using their integrated app loyalty program also provides added benefits such as automated email marketing, Facebook integrations, and customer list builders. The reporting provided through their platform allows you to ana