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How to Increase Customer Loyalty in Restaurant Industry (2024)

By Sajid Al Hossain Last Updated -- Sunday, 2024-02-25

In this era, There are many kinds of businesses that are running successfully in the world. The restaurant business is one of them. It takes a lot of work to run a successful restaurant business. You need to follow several factors such as Restaurant environment, decoration, how nicely the food is served, best use of the restaurant POS system for saving time and monitoring everything smoothly, creating loyalty programs for the customer, and the best ways of how to increase customer loyalty in restaurants, and many more. 

From this content, you will get to know "what is customer loyalty and why is it important" for a restaurant. Also, you will learn the effective steps to increase customer loyalty. So, let's get started!

What is Customer Loyalty and How does it work?

What is Customer Loyalty and How does it work

Before discussing Customer loyalty in a Restaurant, you must know what customer loyalty is in business. Customer loyalty means a good relationship between customers and a business. This means the customer chooses the industry from where they took service or bought any products from any business, and they repeatedly visit that business. They usually choose that company over the competitors because they have good relations with existing companies.

The reason for this customer loyalty is when a brand sells a premium quality of products and has the best customer experience. In addition, They want to be connected with the brands to feel connected to brand values and ideals.

A company has to sell products or provide the best customer services and build customer loyalty by their business. And for these loyal customers, many renowned companies usually organize customer loyalty programs. Also, On the one hand, as they got organized, so did their trustworthy marketing.

Why is Customer Loyalty Important in a Restaurant?

You may ask why loyal customers are essential or "why is consumer loyalty important to business" in a restaurant. It has become a significant part of increasing revenue and creating a good impression for a business. Let's take the hotel business as an example. Most of the premium hotels are using hotel management systems. This software is interconnected with Customer loyalty and hotel management software. This software can help to increase customer loyalty in restaurants or a hotel by providing service such as:

  • Efficient Service.
  • Personalized Service.
  • Feedback Management.
  • Reward Program.
  • Customer Data Analysis.

There are other reasons that customer loyalty is essential for a business.

  • Cost Savings.
  • Help to Make Your Business Revenue Increase.
  • Repeat Business for Long-Term Success.
  • Get Constructive Feedback from Customers.
  • Help to Build Strong Emotional Connections with Customers.

There are many other reasons you will find online. Only some reasons can be mentioned here because every business has its strategy. But there are some common and important reasons which are mentioned above.

Types of Loyalty Programs

Types of Loyalty Programs

There are many types of loyalty programs. The types of loyalty programs are based on various factors such as pricing, product quality, customer service experiences, using the best hotel management software, and many more. In addition, few businesses may decide to implement one type of loyalty program model. Some individuals may choose to merge multiple elements, while others may opt to combine two or more.

Based on research, there are different types of customer loyalty.

  1. Tiered Programs.
  2. Point Programs.
  3. Spend-Based.
  4. Paid Programs. (For VIP Club Members)
  5. Value-Based.
  6. Partnered Programs.
  7. Hybrid Loyalty Programs.
  8. Gamified Programs. 
  9. Community Programs.
  10. Subscription Programs. 

These are the main types you will see everywhere online, and many of the biggest companies are following one of these types.

What do Customers Want From a Loyalty Program in a Restaurant?

Organizing a loyalty program in a restaurant is an excellent way to connect with customers. But when managing a loyalty program, customers are looking for many benefits, such as:

  • Ease to use.
  • Variety and flexibility.
  • Personalization.
  • Transparency.
  • Engagement and communication.
  • Long-term Value.

A unique way to organize the program for the customers is to create a happy dinner. While the real benefactor is the restaurant just because of the increased sales, the customers also feel that they benefit from giving their information and time to a restaurant they enjoy. 

Most Effectual Actions: How to Increase Customer Loyalty in Restaurant

Earlier, we discussed the definition of customer loyalty and how it works. Also, the many types of customer loyalty. If you want to increase restaurant customer retention and improve loyalty, you must follow some effective strategies. 

As we know, customer loyalty is one of the powerful strategies to increase customer loyalty. There are some factors. Those factors affect customer loyalty in the restaurant industry, which is crucial for restaurateurs seeking to thrive in a competitive market.

Let's see the essential steps that are applicable for restaurants and hotels to increase hotel bookings below: 

  • Set Clear Objectives:

Set clear objectives that define the goals of your loyalty program in the restaurant loyalty platform. Whether increasing customer retention, boosting average transaction value, or attracting new customers, having clear objectives will guide the program design.

  • Simplicity And Ease Of Use:

Maintain a loyalty program that is simple and easy to comprehend for customers. That means you need to organize the program so the customers can easily understand. Also, you must Avoid complex requirements that may need clarification or discourage participation.

  • Choose the Right Type of Program:

For the program, you need to decide which type of loyalty program suits your restaurant and customers. This could be a tiered membership, a points-based system, or a simple punch card system.

  • Offer the Valuable Rewards: 

Offering meaningful and valuable rewards is very important for loyalty programs for customers in a restaurant. Consider providing discounts, freebies, exclusive offers, or unique experiences. However, you must ensure the rewards align with customer preferences and activate repeat visits and higher spending.

  • Personalization: 

You need to tailor your loyalty program to cater to individual customer preferences. Collect their data, such as dining habits, favorite dishes, or special occasions, with POS software. Then, utilize this information to provide customized incentives and encounters. This individualized approach instills a sense of worth and gratitude in customers, thereby enhancing their allegiance.

  • Promote the program:

Promoting the program is another crucial part for those who want to do marketing. Make sure to actively advertise your loyalty program to both current and prospective customers. It's important to prominently showcase all the program details in your restaurant, on your websites, and across your social media platforms.

  • Track and Analyze Data:

After all, do everything you need to track and analyze the data for organizing the customer loyalty program. So, Implementing the systems is to track customer interactions, preferences, and purchasing behavior. Once you have implemented it, you can regularly analyze this data to gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your loyalty program and make well-informed adjustments.

Examples of Loyalty Programs for Restaurants

As you have seen above about the types and importance, now you will see some examples of restaurant customer loyalty programs below: 

  • Starbucks Reward

Starbucks is the coffee giant all over the world. It has successfully leveraged mobile marketing all over the world. By using their app for mobile, they send many opportunities to them so they can earn double rewards on every purchase.

  • MyMcDonald's Rewards

This reward works with mobile apps. Those loyal customers of McDonald's have to download an app on their mobile. They have to earn points using the offers they publish in the app. When they achieve the desired attributes, they can redeem them.

  • Panera Rewards 

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, Panera,, a fast-casual chain, introduced a groundbreaking subscription coffee program that was the first of its kind in the industry. When the economic impact of the public health crisis started, Panera's loyalty program had already attracted an impressive 835,000 subscribers, with 700,000 joining in July alone.

This step serves as the best illustration of how the loyalty program can be made simple.

  • Rewards from Cheesecake Cafe 

Cheesecake Cafe is a Canadian Restaurant in Calgary. In the cheesecake cafe reward program, guests earn a seven-cent loyalty reward when they spend every one dollar.

When they claim the loyalty reward, the cheesecake cafe arranges the program and offers multiple ways to claim it. They provide in-house lunch, dinner, or drinks, and they order takeout or buy gift cards.

There are many other examples online. If you want to check for more information and get clarity, you should search online. 

Does Customer Loyalty Increase Restaurant Revenue? 

When it comes to the topic of Customer loyalty, some questions come to your mind. The most common question is, "Can a customer loyalty program increase revenue?" The answer is yes. It can increase the restaurant's revenue. People use random ways to build customer loyalty to increase revenue for restaurants. 

However, loyalty programs are the best and most effective ways to increase restaurant revenue. Also, It can encourage repeat guests to increase the restaurant's revenue. The Harvard Business School published a report on this revenue. In the report, they show the calculation of revenue percentage. It shows that a 5% increase in customer retention rates results in a 25%–95% increase in profits! It is a huge percentage of an increasing amount. 

This is how customer loyalty helps businesses to generate more revenue. Loyalty programs turn regular customers into brand loyalists and help you see a significant boost in your profits!

Also, using ERP for restaurants helps increase restaurant revenue. Now, where does the ERP system come from? Well, the ERP system and customer loyalty are interconnected for restaurants. And that is why it helps restaurants get a higher rate of revenue.

How to measure Customer Loyalty

There are some effective formulas to measure customer loyalty rates. And by using those formulas, you can easily measure customer loyalty. Also, when you use the formulas, you can reduce the cost of the restaurants. Let's see the best formulas so that you can easily measure customer loyalty programs for restaurants below: 

  • Active Engagement Rate

Here's a formula you can use to calculate the engagement rate:

(Number of engaged customers) / (Total number of customers)

So, from this formula, you can calculate the engagement rate. You have the ability to assess the effectiveness of your loyalty program and devise strategies to entice a larger number of individuals to enroll. For example, you may need to advertise the rewards in your program, personalize rewards when possible, or make it easier for customers to earn those rewards before losing interest.

  • Customer Retention Rate

You can calculate your customer retention rate with a simple formula:

[(E-N)/S] x 100

Where E = total customers at the end of that period,

S = existing customers at the start of the given period, 

And N = the number of new customers added.

For example, let's say you start with 200 customers in the first six months. You may have lost five customers throughout this timeframe but gained 50 new ones. As a result, you would have 245 customers at the end of those six months. Using the formula, you can calculate that your retention rate is an outstanding 97.5%.

  • Customer Lifetime Value

The formula for CLV is:

(Customer value) x (Average customer lifespan)

Customer lifetime value (CLV) clearly indicates the profit a specific customer has brought to your business throughout their entire relationship with you. It is a valuable metric to gauge customer loyalty because the higher the value, the more devoted the customer has been.

  • Net Promoter Score

Measuring by NPS, it has the formula:

(Percentage of promoters [those who rate you favorably]) - (Percentage of detractors [those who rate you unfavorably])

CLV clearly indicates the profit a specific customer has brought to your business through their entire relationship with you. It is a valuable metric to gauge customer loyalty because the higher the value, the more devoted the customer has been.

  • Customer Satisfaction Score

The customer loyalty index can count as a valuable tool for monitoring changes in customer loyalty within a specific timeframe. This is similar to NPS. You can collect data for this measurement by conducting customer surveys. 

For example, you can inquire about a customer's likelihood to recommend your brand. Also, their willingness to try new products or services from your brand and their intention to make future purchases from your business.

There are many other formulas available online, such as Customer Effort Score, Upsell Ratio, Engagement, Customer Loyalty Index (CLI),

Repeat Purchases and Referrals, Participation Rate, and many more. These are also the formulas you can use. 

Make the best customer loyalty program (best tips)

If you want to organize a Customer Loyalty Program, you need proper knowledge about it. To make it better, here are some tips for you. So that you can create the best customer loyalty program. So, let's follow the directions: 

  1. Create a scheduling app for restaurants.
  2. Clarify how your program works
  3. Personalization is your friend
  4. Remember your customers' birthdays
  5. Diversify your rewards
  6. Tiered programs are great for exclusivity
  7. Offer early access to products
  8. Special discounts for loyal customers
  9. Explore partnerships to provide even more compelling offers.
  10. Create a mobile app
  11. Create an email list
  12. Create a community

So, these tips are enough to organize the best customer loyalty program. 


That is all about the restaurant customer loyalty program. Customer loyalty is an essential part of increasing business revenue and brand reputation. If it is about the restaurant business, you must make a customer loyalty program. This program intends to make a good relationship between customers and a business. There are various customer loyalty programs available, so choose the one you want to organize. In addition, you need to know how to measure customer loyalty with some effective formulas. After all this, you will be clear about how to increase customer loyalty in restaurants.