You’ve seen it before. Heck maybe you have even been through it.
You walk up to the counter, order and pull out your wallet.
The girl behind the register asks if you have a “stamp card.”
You say no and that you don’t want one.
The exchange is done and you go about your day.
Sigh. Another missed opportunity on the business’ part.
I am sure there are a ton of business owners out there looking for ways to stay in contact with the people that are doing business with them on a weekly basis along with capturing more business from the “once-in-a-while” consumers, also.
If you own a restaurant and you’re not collecting emails you are missing out on a huge opportunity to make more money off your already happy guests…
plus you could be gaining more regular customers from your one time visitors!
What do you need to be doing?
Asking for emails in exchange for loyalty cards…but with cards that are on steroids!
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
The majority of your patrons want to feel special…
and they want you to make them feel special.
Don’t be afraid to pitch your e-club as an exclusive list to let your guesses know you’ll be sending them the inside scoop.
There are some really opportune times that you could be capturing emails in a restaurant, especially if it has a bar (I’ll get to this later).
Make sure your servers and bartenders know they can ask for this information and empower them to do it with authority.
You can even reward them with a commission for this!
Train The Employees
You really need to understand how loyalty programs work before you get this campaign running.
Don’t just throw a card down and say “gimmy’ your email and if you come back we’ll punch that and you can get something free after you come back a bunch of times.”
First off, that’s horrible service.
Second, you need to motivate the consumer and build value into your rewards program.
Train your staff and yourself with an easy pitch like:
“Hey, thanks so much for coming in! We have a really awesome loyalty rewards program where (insert your offer) and if you give us your email we’ll get you started AND we’ll even punch your card (x) times today. (x) times for joining and (x) times for your current meal/drink/dessert”
“Hello (insert regulars name here), how was your meal today? …Oh that’s great! Listen, I know that you are part of our rewards program and I wanted to let you know if you purchase dessert today we’ll give you an extra punch on your card for that (insert offer).
Don’t wing it here…or do.
Whatever you do, make sure that the setting is comfortable and your not pressuring your guest in the middle of their meal.
Encourage Your Guest
What you need to do is make an offer enticing while sustaining the value of your product.
Let’s assume that you are giving away a free entree as your reward.
And lets say the guest needs to purchase 10 entrees to get a free one.
DON’T make the card with 10 boxes to punch, make it with 12 boxes.
You are going to give them 2 punches at the time your capture their email. One for signing up and one for their current meal.
Why are you giving them free punches?
Because they are going to be more likely to complete the program if they have a good head start.
When To Pitch
You might be wondering when the best time to pitch this is.
Of course it is going to take some trial and error but below are some ideas to get you started.
Here are some examples:
- New Costumer – Gauge the feel at the table if they seemed satisfied at the end of the meal pitch it then. No one wants to be sold, especially before they eat. Plus it will make the meal awkward for you and them if there is a bad vibe in the air.
- Returning Customer – Try at the beginning if you have a solid relationship with them. It’s also a great time to throw out an add-on with an appetizer. If you’d like to wait till the end do that and try the dessert.
- Bar Regular – Let ’em get them settled in and enjoying themselves first. After a drink or two, try then. Give them 2 punches, one for signing up, and one for the drink they ordered. *Of course you could always offer the third if they get an appetizer!
- Unsure – Let’s say you use the host to implement this program. They are the first point of contact and are generally very warm and receptive (after all that’s why they are there). Let them take the reservation and when they hand them the beeper or after they write the name down they can do a soft sale. If the consumer goes for it great! If not let the server follow up at the table.
Find a rewards card online that you can put your logo on.
Train your staff to ask for emails in exchange for loyalty cards.
Create 2 extra punches to get the guests started and make sure you punch them it in front of them.
Track you emails and loyalty cards to see if there is an increase in sales.
Over to you!