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Make sure your restaurant is always full: 5 ideas from Tillypad

When city news and social media outlets publish weekly updates with new venues, each of which has its own unique ‘personality’, restaurateurs have an increasingly difficult time combatting customer attrition. The desire to check out new venues is understandable, so restaurant managers have to work hard to retain their clientele.
Friendly service, an exceptional menu, a classy interior design, and attractive prices and loyalty programmes all work to make your business a success. But a restaurant becomes customers’ favourite not only because of its amiable staff and high-quality food, but also because of the emotional connection that is established. ‘I choose it because I love it’ is often the reason guests come back to their favourite restaurant over and over again. This is why earning customers' loyalty is fundamentally about winning their hearts.
And this is not an easy task. Knowing this, Tillypad XL supports and offers multiple solutions to attract new guests and to give your customers an incentive to come back.
To stay on customers’ radars, motivate them to return and incentivize increasing their spending, restaurateurs working with Tillypad XL alternate between various loyalty programmes. The experience of successful restaurants has shown that occasional rotation of different promotions (discounts, monetary and non-monetary bonuses, gifts, freebies) helps keep customers from losing interest in a venue. In addition, an extensive toolkit for measuring the effectiveness of promotions allows managers to conduct a few test runs to find the loyalty programmes that work best.
Tillypad XL consistently provides new solutions for creating and supporting loyalty programmes and assessing their effectiveness. Here are a few more ideas for attracting new customers and retaining those who have already come to love your establishment.
  1. Increase customers’ average bills and stimulate the sales of certain items by using the 'Free item with purchase of certain dishes' loyalty programme. For example, if a guest orders three specific dishes, a free item with a 100% discount will automatically be added to the guest tab. When a certain number of dishes are ordered, the same number of free menu items are added to the tab.
  2. Motivate customers to come more regularly. Show your audience that they have a real chance to save money by winning a discount awarded to every 10th or 20th customer. The 'Discount on every nth tab on the business day' loyalty programme will help you implement this promotion. Set up the discount amount and the days on which it will be applied, select the applicable locations and divisions (e.g. bar or grill) and decide on the frequency with which the discount will be applied – whether you want to give it to every fifth, tenth or twentieth customer.
  3. Another way to increase your average bill and the sales of items with high margins is to allocate a discount to every second, third or fourth item in a guest tab. After you configure the 'Discount on every nth item within an order' loyalty programme, you will be able to automatically provide freebies or discounts when two or more identical items are sold. For example, if a customer orders two pastries, you can offer the third for free or with a 50% discount.
  4. In the quiet hours between lunch and dinner, many restaurants turn to Happy Hour to increase customer traffic.  The classic Happy Hour model is ‘buy one get one free’. These promotions are always popular with customers and may even prompt them to bring friends.
  5. You can easily implement them with the 'Discount on every second item' loyalty programme. The discount will automatically be applied to every (identical) second dish; if the number of ordered dishes is changed or if an item is deleted from the order, the system will recalculate the bill. You can also configure the loyalty programme such that repeat orders are sold with a discount rather than given away for free.
Do you want more customers to come in with reservations for large parties and special events? Grant discounts to large groups of people by using the 'Discount by the number of guests in the tab' loyalty programme. The discount will be calculated automatically based on the number of guests (for example, 5 guests = 5%) but will not exceed the limit you set.  More guests means a bigger discount, a win-win situation for you and your customers!
    You can also set up a more complex loyalty programme by adding a discount ratio. For example, if the ratio is 2, five friends dining at your restaurant will receive 10% off.
    Invent and implement new promotions, and use them as additional hooks to promote your restaurant and/or increase your customer base. The effectiveness of your marketing strategies can be easily assessed with Tillypad XL’s detailed reports.