Well-managed customer loyalty programs can power growth for quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and other restaurants by influencing consumer behavior and driving repeat business.
It's no secret that loyalty programs can be a critical success factor in building trust and retaining customers. By making it a fun and gamified experience to gather and manage points or rewards, QSRs and other restaurants can capture customers' attention and influence them to spend more and buy more often. Additionally, restaurant brands have the opportunity to get to know their loyalty program members and can therefore engage with them directly and provide them with personalized or exclusive content and offers.
The most sophisticated loyalty program management systems allow restaurants to use predictive modeling to incentivize new and lapsed customers differently than regular customers. In all cases, however, the ultimate goal is the same: to encourage customers to come back to the brand for their next meal.
Of course, a QSRs or other restaurant needs to keep its loyalty program fresh and engaging to maintain its customers' interest—something that's increasingly happening online or via mobile apps. It's estimated that, by 2025, more than half of QSR purchases will be made digitally—a 70 percent increase from pre-pandemic estimates.1 That makes it critical for restaurants to take a "digital first" approach that helps to keep customers loyal by optimizing all aspects of their engagement with the brand.
Secure, seamless customer experiences
A customer may switch between restaurant locations or try different items from the menu, but one thing usually remains constant: how they like to pay. Recognizing customer payment credentials is a great way for a restaurant brand to connect the customer to its loyalty program, while also providing more security and certainty about their identity. Through this connection, the restaurant can identify its loyal customers and provide them with a seamless payment flow based on tokenization techniques.
Here's how Cybersource Token Management Service helps you do this. Typically, when a customer signs up for your loyalty program, they have the option to save their payment card details on file for their purchases. Using Token Management Service, the customer’s sensitive account data is replaced with a unique identifier, a digital token, and stored in Visa’s data centers. This means customers don’t have to worry about their account details being vulnerable online, and businesses don’t have to worry about keeping sensitive data safe in their own environment.
- Payment security comes from the secure tokens used for every transaction (even guest checkout), storing card-on-file payment data in Visa’s enterprise level, tier-4, data centers.
- A great checkout experience comes from the unique way our tokens are structured to include merchant-defined fields like loyalty account numbers. When used with network tokens, transactions may become seamless, improve customer experience, and increase authorizations while reducing declines.
And of course, higher acceptance rates and fewer declines also mean your restaurant can benefit from a lift in revenue.
What to look for in your partners
Developing an effective loyalty program and integrating it with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, customer apps and payment platforms will almost always involve working with multiple technology partners. QSRs and other restaurants should look for partners that have strong strategic alliances and integration capabilities, as well as experience and expertise in supporting QSRs and other restaurants.
Ruby Tuesday Hong Kong & Cybersource
One of the restaurant brands Cybersource works with is Ruby Tuesday Hong Kong. We helped them accelerate their digital transformation and launch a mobile app that lets customers browse the menu, order, and pay, as well as sign up for loyalty program membership privileges and discounts. By leveraging their mobile app and loyalty program, Ruby Tuesday Hong Kong increased their loyal member base by 22 percent.
For more about building customer loyalty—and further restaurant-related insights—download our "Food Experiences" guide.