The best loyalty schemes in the Restaurant sector

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Restaurant sector

The best loyalty schemes in the Restaurant sector

Loyalty schemes and rewards programs are big business in the restaurant sector providing opportunities for both the customer and the business to reap the rewards. Customers engaging with restaurant loyalty systems benefit from easy online access to tailored rewards which meet their individual preferences.



While restaurant loyalty program providers benefit from retention of customers, increases in sales of up to 35% and collection of invaluable data on their customers to support further marketing endeavours. The ultimate goal of restaurant loyalty systems is to convert satisfied customers into loyal lifelong customers.



Below we have outlined strong industry examples engaging with integrated loyalty software, indicating what they offer and why they keep the customers coming back.




In 2010, Starbucks launched their “My Starbucks Rewards Loyalty Program” which has been cited by the hospitality giant as an “overwhelming success”. By 2016, over $1.2 billion in customer funds had been loaded onto plastic and mobile Starbucks cards in the first quarter of the year.


How it works:
Registration for “My Starbucks Rewards” is free and enable customers to sign up for a gift card or loyalty card. The gift card allows the customer to collect Starbucks stars- benefits of collecting stars include free beverage and reduced waiting times in queues.


The loyalty card offers a tiered program which ranges from green to gold level which entices customers with better incentives based on their spending within stores with two stars awarded for every $1 spent. The mobile app allows customers to view their loyalty account, follow promotions and integrates digital payment and ordering to enhance their in-store experience.


Starbucks Rewards is considered one of the most successful implementations of a loyalty and customer retention strategy worldwide.


Subway has abandoned its “one size fits all” traditional punch card in favour of integrated loyalty software which enhances the user experience. Though only launched March 2018 in the U.S and Canada, its future looks promising for customer retention within this global franchise.


How it works:
The “My Way Rewards” is designed with the customer in mind allowing customers to build up tokens with each purchase where customers can earn 4 tokens for $1 spent. These tokens can be applied as credits or used to access rewards which are tailored to the customers’ personalised preferences.


Customers also benefit from exclusive special offers, free surprises and the ability to order online using their app. While relatively new, this individually tailored reward program has supported their top position among quick-serve restaurant loyalty programs.


Papa John is a company that has seen more than 60% of its sales derived from digital and mobile channels and has successfully launched Apple T.V ordering app in addition to Facebook ordering which has largely been attributed to its individually tailored PapaRewards program.



How it works:
PapaRewards loyalty program allows customers to earn discounts and rewards based on their amount of spending and gives points towards a free pizza when orders are made online, unlike many other competitors, they include tax and delivery charges as part of the redeemable value. Through staying ahead of technological trends and engaging customers through multiple social media platforms Papa Johns has been able to maintain its top-ranking position in the highly competitive pizza chain industry.


The examples above indicate generic reward systems have become somewhat redundant. As technology continues to adapt so must our approaches offering individually tailored restaurant loyalty systems which meet and exceed the demands of the customer to keep them coming back.


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