best restaurant rewards programs | 7 mins read

Best Restaurant Rewards Programs- 5 Stellar Examples to Emulate

best restaurant rewards programs 6 stellar examples to emulate 1643806200 6929
Sanchari Chatterjee

By Sanchari Chatterjee

Why Invest in a Rewards Program?

There are thousands of established brands across sectors that offer a plethora of benefits to their customers through rewards programs and loyalty programs. From cashback and loyalty points, to free goods and meals in return for customer loyalty, these rewards programs often make attractive offers to patrons. But why are well-known brands such as Starbucks and Papa John's investing in their loyalty programs when they already have such a huge fan following?

  • Restaurants exist because of their customers; particularly their returning customers. Loyal customers are the most valuable resource of a restaurant business. They not only make frequent visits and drive up sales, but also help promote the brandand drive up sales! This is customer loyalty. With a customer loyalty program, food service businesses reward and retain their patrons with special offers, free food and bonus points.
  • Businesses spend thousands of dollars on advertisements to acquire new customers. However, landing a new customer is far more difficult than retaining a customer, and it is the latter who is more valuable to a business.
  • A recent report by Bluedot states that customers find rewards programs and their special offers rewarding. 69% said they'd return to a restaurant because of its loyalty program.
  • With a restaurant loyalty program, businesses can also establish a direct communication channel with their patrons, directly sending special offers and free food to them.

Chick fil A One by Chick-fil-A

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Chick-fil-A, which is one of America's popular fast food chains, has its own loyalty program called Chick-fil-A On. This is a tiered membership scheme offered to customers. Every time a customer makes a purchase at Chick-fil-A, they earn points according to the amount spent. They can use these to cash in on benefits, such as free birthday purchases and access to Chick Fil sponsored events, like high school basketball tournaments and football games.

Features and details-

  • Chick fil A has a four-tier membership rewards program that assigns points per dollar a customer spends on purchases. These points go up as the customer moves up the tiers. Categories are- Member, Silver Member, Red Member and Signature Member.
  • If a customer is in the first tier (Member), they earn 10 points for every dollar spent at Chick Fil. When they earn over 1,000 points in a year, they become a Silver Member. They now earn 11 points for every dollar spent. Similarly, they graduate to Red Member and Signature Member when they earn 4,000 and 10,000 points in a year, respectively. A Red Member earns 12 points per dollar, while the Signature member earns 13 points.
  • Customers can earn points with every spend that goes over a dollar. They can get points as per the membership tier and redeem points to enjoy more purchases, surprise rewards, a special birthday reward, and also access insider content.
  • The points rewards can also be used to send gifts to friends and families.
  • The Chick-fil-A One rewards program also offers tickets to customers at the top tier with tickets and passes to sponsored events, such as basketball tournaments, etc.

  • According to a report by Paytronix, 47% of diners in the U.S. market have at least one loyalty program.
  • A second survey by Rewards Network has found that there is an increased demand for rewards programs and loyalty programs among consumers visiting restaurants.
  • Several large restaurant chains have newly launched their loyalty programs to grab a larger chunk of the market, and retain loyal customers with rewards and benefits.

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Fridays Rewards by TGI Fridays

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Fridays Rewards by TGI Friday is a loyalty program that rewards member customers with a free appetizer on joining the scheme. Theirs is one of the most popular restaurant loyalty programs in the U.S. It rewards members with one point for every dollar spent on purchases. Customers don't have to pay upfront to join the rewards program. Members get free menu items upon joining and also on every order thereafter.

Features and details-

  • Upon joining and downloading the app, customers are immediately offered a free appetizer when they order an entree. Thereafter, they can enjoy free chips and salsa every time they dine at a TGI Friday restaurant.
  • Customers earn one point every time they place online orders or visit an outlet and make qualifying purchases from the menu.
  • For birthdays, TGI Friday gives their loyal customers one free dessert as part of the Friday Rewards program.
  • Customers can also earn more points when they spread the word and convince their friends and family to also join the loyalty program.

Starbucks Rewards By Starbucks

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Starbucks Rewards, which is the prime rewards program of Starbucks, the world's largest coffeehouse chain, is often talked about as the Best Loyalty program out there. From free espresso shots, to merchandise, the Starbucks loyalty program offers several special offers to its customers, making them return frequently to the brand.

Features and details-

  • Starbucks hands out Stars for every dollar spent on orders at Starbucks outlets or online, with every scan of the barcode on a customer's app.
  • In the second option, Starbucks awards two points for every dollar when patrons pre-load their Starbucks Card with cash and use this card to make payments.
  • There is a third, premium option in which customers can get the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card, which is a credit card they can use for regular use, not just at Starbucks. With this, patrons can earn points (up to three) for every dollar.
  • The coffee chain also offers free refills to its loyal customers if they ask for a refill during the same visit.
  • Starbucks offers a free birthday reward in the form of a tall drink to its loyalty program members. However, to qualify for the birthday reward, a member must have at least one Star-earning transaction in their book.
  • From free customization of a drink, to free sandwich and protein box, freebies get bigger and better with more Stars or loyalty points.

MyPanera Rewards Program by Panera Bread

Panera Bread is one of America's biggest bakery-cafe and fast-casual restaurants. Like the others, its customer loyalty program also rewards patrons with offers and benefits to get them to return. MyPanera by Panera Bread promises treats, perks, savings, and a free dessert for simply joining the program.

Features and details-

  • Customers get a free dessert upon signing up for the MyPanera loyalty program.
  • Panera Bread offers 30 days of free delivery to new customers who join the loyalty program.
  • New MyPanera members get special offers and surprises on orders.
  • The MyPanera offers and special discounts are also applicable on catering orders.
  • Panera Bread has also introduced a new scheme called Unlimited Sip Club, which is a $8.99 subscription that offers customers unlimited cups of coffee/tea every two hours and free refills of the same drink.

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Red Robin Royalty Rewards Program by Red Robin

Red Robin, an American chain of restaurants that specializes in gourmet burgers and brews, runs the Red Robin Royalty program. It's a customer loyalty program, that transfers benefits and rewards to customers who are frequent buyers.

Features and details-

  • Red Robin offers a free gourmet burger to customers who become 'Royalty' through the loyalty program. This offer is valid once, anytime during the birthday month.
  • No matter what menu items a customer chooses to buy, be it a sandwich, burger or brew, every 10th item is on the house.
  • If a customer makes five visits in the first five weeks of signing up and purchases a burger or a sandwich, a $20 reward is given on the sixth visit.
  • Teachers and U.S. Army members get special offers and rewards as part of the Royalty program.

How to Use Loyalty Software to Set up Your Own Rewards Program

Every loyalty program aims to retain customers and encourage brand loyalty and advocacy. It is with this objective that businesses build their rewards programs or loyalty programs. Typically, a loyalty program works with customers earning points on every dollar spent on the brand's products. The company, in turn, offers them rewards, freebies, special offers, a birthday reward, an anniversary gift, and so on. These Restaurant Loyalty schemes typically have different tiers and membership categories, according to the frequency of the customer's visits or orders. But running a complex loyalty program, with different offers at different levels, can be tricky for a small business or even a large enterprise. And this is where loyalty software comes in.

  • Software solutions such as ZipLoyalty, a loyalty program offered by restaurant back-office management suite Hubworks, can operate and streamline a restaurant's vision of such a scheme by collecting all customer information in one place, tracking their points rewards, and sending them product updates, news about new launches, and so on.
  • The rewards program platform will keep track of the company's top customers, frequent visitors and potential loyalty program subscribers, who can then be tapped.
  • The ZipLoyalty app will also enable easy customer sign-ups, sign-in, and options for points redeemed. It can also send out offers for customers to receive free goods as per the customization set by the restaurant.
  • Loyalty programs offered by software solutions such as ZipLoyalty also make it easy for customers to sign up to earn rewards and benefits.

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