valuable customers

Identify your Most Valuable Customers & Keep Them

Every restaurant has them, those VIP customers who you never want to let down. Maybe it’s a couple that comes in several times a week, maybe it’s a big-spending businesswoman who frequently takes her clientele to your restaurant. Whoever they are, you want your staff members to go out of their way to make sure these customers get the best service possible. So it only makes sense that you would utilize all the data and resources available to you to make sure these VIPs keep coming back. One way to do this is through loyalty programs.

Why loyalty programs?

If you enjoy an influx of customers and increased check sizes, then you’ll enjoy what loyalty programs can do for your restaurant. Loyalty programs are reported to increase a customer’s lifetime value by 30% through increased visit and spending per visit.

The great thing about loyalty programs is that often times you can hit the ground running with them. For example, Chipotle launched their loyalty program in July of 2016 and had 3.1 million members in three months. In addition to that, after the first month, nearly one-third of all transactions were loyalty program based.

Who are your VIPs?

First things first, you need to recognize who your VIPs are. Sure anecdotally you may remember certain individuals coming in frequently and an abnormally large check here and there, but why take a chance when you can use actual data to develop a full 360-degree view of who these guests are. Loyalty programs can help you do this. Know what days and times they prefer to come in, what they like to eat or drink, and how much money they typically spend in your restaurant.

Capturing and acting on this data allows you to make smart, insight-driven decisions that can help increase revenue over the long-term. An easy way to do this is through loyalty programs. Loyalty programs can provide robust offerings, from wine clubs to special offers on parties over a certain size. It really all depends on your specific needs.

What extra service can you provide?

In order to make your VIP guest feel as such, it’s important to cater to them in every facet of their dining experience. That starts the moment they walk in the door. Through online guest check-ins and reservations, the host can be notified of their arrival, allowing staff to make any preparations that will make these guests feel more welcome.

Understanding a guest’s ordering habits provides your restaurant with a wealth of information that can be utilized to make sure your VIPs are never left wanting. For example, if a diner belongs to a loyalty program that specializes in various wines, you can have a special bottle waiting for them on their table when they are seated. Service like this does not go unnoticed and is what keeps a diner frequenting your establishment on a regular basis.

Finally, everyone likes prompt service. Pairing your loyalty program with online ordering and payment lets customers know that you value their time.

So your guests have top-notch service from the moment they walk into your restaurant until the moment they pay their check and walk out the doors. But it’s important that it not end there. Through the data collected, you can tailor marketing efforts so that your VIPs will receive deals and information about your restaurant that will keep them in the loop and coming back. Additionally, once the messaging goes out, you can track which types of messaging and loyalty programs are having the most success, continue to push those while tweaking the messaging of the less successful programs.

How does this work?

Identifying VIPs through loyalty programs, utilizing data to provide top-notch service, and sending customized post-meal marketing communications all sounds easier said than done. But it really isn’t. Finding the technology that works best for your restaurant will allow you to achieve all of this much more easily than you might have imagined.

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