Most of us can remember those old punch cards where guests get a free dessert on their 10th visit to the restaurant. Back in the day, that type of restaurant loyalty program worked. It told guests, “We’re glad you chose our restaurant, and here’s a little something to reward that loyalty.” Today, though, winning a guests’ repeat business takes a lot more than a punch card.

Current Restaurant Loyalty Trends

Restaurant loyalty statistics are in for 2016. It’s not surprising that millennials are influencing loyalty trends. Here are a few that restaurant owners and managers should be paying attention to:

  • 96% of millennials are using restaurant loyalty programs (Software Advice)
  • 72% of consumers said they would be more likely to sign up for a loyalty program if the process was simplified by text message (3Cinteractive)
  • 57% of brands indicate that they will increase loyalty program budgets in 2017 (CrowdTwist)
  • 59% of millennials quit restaurant loyalty programs because rewards “aren’t valuable enough” (Software Advice)
  • 30% of millennials prefer earning points based on the money they spend at the restaurant (Software Advice)
  • 52% of millennials want to use their mobile devices to take advantage of loyalty programs offered by restaurants, bars and coffee shops (Oracle)

Remember IRL Service Basics

There’s no doubt about it – today’s restaurant guests expect technology to be a driving force behind your loyalty program. But the best technology-based restaurant loyalty program won’t matter you and your staff don’t deliver an outstanding experience in real life. It’s not necessarily one big thing you do to create guest loyalty, it’s a combination of the little things that add up to success.

Improve Restaurant Loyalty with Service and Sales Training

The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.