While getting customers to order from your restaurant is fundamental for business, retaining the patronage of these customers is what gives your restaurant steady revenue. In order to make sure that your customers keep returning (and do so frequently), you need to build customer loyalty. 

Customer loyalty has been defined as a patron’s willingness to make repeat purchases from a company. This desire to regularly buy from one place stems from their positive experience with that business.

How does customer loyalty help?

A happy customer is more likely to come back, providing your restaurant with repeat orders. If you can keep attracting these diners to your eatery on a regular basis, then you can build a consistent revenue stream. Studies have shown that loyal customers spend 67% more than new customers, accounting for up to 80% of a business’ revenue. The math is simple, the more loyal customers you have, the more money you make.

Happy customers are also more likely to tell their friends about your restaurant. This word-of-mouth publicity is extremely valuable as all of us trust the recommendations of people we know. There is a higher chance of getting new guests through such referrals than most other marketing strategies. In fact, research reveals that 92% of consumers prefer the recommendations of friends to traditional forms of advertising. By simply talking about your restaurants, your loyal customers become your brand ambassadors, spreading the word and bringing new business to you.

You can also fortify yourself against your competitors when you build customer loyalty. It is common sense really: if a customer is buying from you, it means they are not spending at a competitor F&B outlet. Loyal customers keep the money flowing in the correct direction: right into your tills.

How can you use your online ordering app to nurture customer loyalty?

Your restaurant online ordering app is a marvelous tool for building customer loyalty. It offers you multiple options to incentivize purchasing, thus enticing your customers to keep ordering from you. Here are three easy steps you can take to promote repeat orders and so build customer loyalty through your restaurant online ordering app:

  1. Use a digital stamp card
  2. Digital stamp cards lure customers with a freebie or a special discount upon completion of a stipulated number of orders. Depending on what you serve up, you can designate a specific quota to be completed prior to claiming the reward -  say for instance, buy four burgers and get one free or buy three pizzas and get 50% off your fourth pizza. Watching the digital stamp card fill up is exciting for a customer who will be eager to reach that magic number of purchases in order to get the special prize.

  3. Offer special discounts
  4. You can offer special discounts to customers who have registered with your restaurant’s online ordering app. Not only do discounts prompt patrons to buy from you, they also tend to encourage people to place bigger orders. So your increase will be two-fold: more orders that are of a much higher value. Promote these discounts by sending personalised push notifications. Timing is key here. Schedule it carefully so that they receive the message just as they are beginning to think about their next meal and you will gently nudge them in your direction.

  5. Run happy hour specials
  6. Happy hours are a marvellous tactic to boost sales of those slower-moving menu items. For a few hours each day, you could promote some of these chosen items on a 2-for-1 or a buy-one-get-50%-off-the-second type offer. You could even designate happy hours during those quieter times of the day and break the lull in business. Because happy hours are limited to a specific time frame each day, customers feel a sense of urgency to capitalize on the deal. They may even develop a liking for those less popular dishes and drinks you are pushing and start ordering them more frequently.

Applova’s restaurant online ordering system has inbuilt facilities that make cultivating customer loyalty a cinch. You can either run these simultaneously or select specific options to suit your context. However you decide to get about it, Applova will help you connect with your customers, create meaningful bonds and build a lucrative relationship with them by securing their ongoing patronage.

Published APRIL 22, 2021

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