Restaurants of all sizes in all markets cannot survive without loyalty. Being one of the most competitive business endeavors, restaurant owners know they are racing against the clock as well as competitors to stay afloat. The fact remains that nearly three-fourths of restaurants do not survive long enough to see their 5-year anniversaries.

So how can restaurants combat the saturated market? The answer lies in finding a balance between new customers and customer retention. Per Loyalty360, in a perfect world 80% of a restaurant’s business comes from 20% of its customers. Furthermore, they posit that a loyalty program has the ability to boost repeat customers by 35%.

Even the bigger companies are taking advantage of loyalty programs. Take McDonalds for example. Per Loyalty360, the fast food giant focused on loyalty and is seeing 4% growth in global sales through the first quarter. They are focusing on upping the amount of repeat customers through digital platforms.

Digital loyalty programs are the way of the future, and the data clearly supports the claim. The days of traditional punch card loyalty models are far from dead, they have just been giving a shiny new veneer accessible from the phone you carry around everywhere.

Mobile apps like Flok allow business owners of all sizes to leverage digital loyalty programs and secure larger customer foundations that come back more often. The added benefit of applications like Flok is that they do not need to integrate to a POS system, such as those offered by Electronic Merchant Systems. A restaurant can easily streamline their payment processing and loyalty programs for a consolidated and cost effective approach to customer retention.

All in all, loyalty programs provide restaurants the leverage they need to retain customers and thrive in markets of all sizes. Without loyalty, most restaurants are doomed to fail. The rise of digital loyalty platforms has opened to door for integration with POS technologies, allowing businesses to connect with customers more easily and more often.

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