8 Customer Loyalty Program Ideas to Keep Customers Happy in 2019

SHIVANGI BANSAL | 2019-01-04 18:00:00

Let's go down the memory lane and remember the days when we were rewarded for drinking our milk, reciting a poem, cleaning our room and simply being on our best behavior. Those were the best days of our life, huh? While we are probably not fixated on those little rewards anymore, I’m sure we still love the idea of it. This is the reason why loyalty program has a lot of potential in it. Loyalty Programs especially work for millennials who have high disposable income and are obsessed with eating out or ordering in food through restaurant mobile app. Read here to know about the 10 Must-Have Features your Restaurant Mobile App Should Have. 

It was recently mentioned in a survey that 44% millennials are more loyal to the brands now than ever before and will sign up for loyalty programs without hesitation if they provide value to them. And yet, a lot of restaurants don’t use loyalty programs to retain a highly valuable group of customers. It is time for you to take advantage of this and create a customer loyalty program that is relevant to your customers. It will not only help you build your customer base and interaction but will also boost your sales as customers will be excited to redeem their reward points.

The interesting part is that you can be creative with your customer loyalty programs and you're not limited to a particular type of loyalty programs. You can curate or choose the one you think will keep driving your customers back to you and implement that. To curate a loyalty program you should know the science behind it, so let us understand loyalty programs.

Understanding Customer Loyalty Programs


It basically works on two principles i.e. reward and reinforcement. You simply provide your customers with rewards in exchange for the desired action. For example- Reward your customers points worth 10% of their total order. This results in a pleasant experience which influences the customers to keep engaging in that same activity. This is the basic design of any loyalty program.

In case you’re out of ideas on the customer loyalty program, we’ve got you covered. Following are some ideas to help you determine the best programme for your restaurant, and how each one adds a value of its own.

Customer Loyalty Program Ideas

1. Loyalty Points

It is a point-based loyalty system which is malleable and easy to understand and hence the most popular. It's a common scheme and proven to be successful more often than not. Customers earn points on the basis of their billing amount. When customers place their order they will present their loyalty card in which the points will be added which can be redeemed on the next visit. Branding your loyalty program and customizing it to your brand style will give your programme its unique identity. This will help your customers to connect with your brand.

The only thing driving the customers to get into the loyalty program are the rewards. They are in the game for the discounts that the points can bring or free goodies. It depends on the manager that while creating the programme they want to offer discounts or free goodies. Offers like these will motivate customers to come back and spend more money to earn more reward points.

2. Free Delivery

This is a smart and simple way to attract customers. The word ‘Free’ in itself attracts a lot of attention from the customers. Free delivery will score you a few brownie points with your customers as they would prefer to place an order with you over your competition. When customers earn a certain number of points you can waive off their delivery charges.

Flipkart has recently launched a similar program called Flipkart Plus. Under this program, the customers will get free fast delivery and early access to sales events. The customers will also get an increased level of customer support. If brands like Flipkart and Amazon are adopting these schemes then they are definitely worth it.

3. Get a Free Gift on your 5th Visit

As I mentioned earlier everybody likes the word ‘Free’. This is another easy way to encourage your customers for repeated visits. You can offer your customers free gifts after their 5th visit or 10th visit or 15th visit and so on and so forth. Remember to increase the value of the gift with increased visits. Remember that this scheme doesn’t encourage higher spending because the rewards are visit based. Implement this scheme if you’re looking to increase the footfall of the customers in your store.

4. Skip the Long Queue

There is no harm to go beyond points and offers to reward your customers. Provide your loyalists with VIP experience where they can get advance bookings on high-interest days (Festivals & Special Occasions) or on weekends. This would attract the customers to sign up for the program as everyone likes to have privileges if they are worth it. This reward is an instant reward where they are getting benefits over others which will leave an impact on them for a longer time than waiting for the reward points to accumulate to redeem them.

5. Align with a cause

Brands have recently started adopting this scheme and it is one of the most successful schemes to connect with your customer and show them that you care about what they believe in. Simply ask your customers about the cause they are (or would like to) associated with and donate a small percentage of their bill to that cause on their behalf. This will encourage your customers to choose your brand over others because they will receive a sense of satisfaction when they will make payments with you because they will be involved in a good cause.

6. Tiered Rewards

A tiered restaurant loyalty program is like a game. Customers get rewarded for certain actions and reach higher levels with greater rewards. It is great for attracting new customers and encouraging loyalists to place repeat orders to get more benefits. For every action, they receive points and by accumulating a certain number of points they reach the next level where there are ampler benefits waiting.

7. Membership Programmes

Customers like exclusivity. Customers are always intrigued with exclusive memberships. Members are given special prices, offers, and extra points that are not given to the non-members. Members get invites for exclusive promotional events with vouchers that only members can redeem. Even though it’s a paid membership, customers like to sign up for it because it gives them a plethora of opportunities to earn extra points, discounts and enjoy the unique member-only benefits. Membership Programmes offer special rewards and prices for the members who pay because you won’t offer those to the non-paying members.


8. Punch Card Programs

Punch Card loyalty programs can offer insight. It is recommended to put a date on the punch cards which will help you track how long does it take for each customer to make enough purchases to redeem their rewards. This scheme is instated on visit or purchase basis and not on a percentage basis of the total billing amount. Every time a customer visits and makes a purchase they get a stamp on their card and once the card is full they can redeem their reward. The customers will be more interested in this kind of scheme because they will feel less pressured into paying a certain amount to earn their rewards. They can visit the restaurant and regardless of what they order they will get a stamp which will motivate them to repeat the process because they will be closer to receiving their reward.