Reward Good Customer Behavior, Don’t Entitle Them

Reward programs have been around for years. Airlines, hotels, and restaurants adopted these programs decades ago. Convenience stores, on the other hand, seem to prefer club programs and simple promotions like 3 cents off per gallon or short-term, low-value programs.

At a high level, mass promotions are a great business strategy, driving more visits and spend. Most of the time they are also paid for by the CPG vendors, so the cost of running these promotions is minimal to the convenience store. Mass promotions and eblasts get brands quick wins and compel customers to make purchases with the incentive of getting an item for free.

Most mass eblast promotions are the standards “Buy 1 coffee, Get 1 coffee Free.” Let’s think about this from the customers’ point of view, a very frequent customer who comes in every day for their morning coffee before they head off to work could get a free coffee just like the customer that has maybe come in once or twice would be able to get the free coffee with their purchase. The fact is, the customer that comes in every day would have been willing to purchase that cup of coffee at full price. You are essentially rewarding the frequent customer with a free coffee for not changing their behavior or driving an incremental visit or spend and eroding the revenue you did get from driving the customer who has not come in as much and did change their behavior. […]

How to Choose a Loyalty Program That’s Right for Your Convenience Store

In case you haven’t already heard, loyalty programs deliver outstanding financial returns to restaurants by motivating guests to visit more often and spend more on each visit. Simply put, if you want to maximize your restaurant’s revenue, you need loyalty.

However, when we talk about loyalty, we don’t mean the standard “buy five items, get one free” deal that comes along with a paper punch card. That was loyalty 1.0. Loyalty 2.0 delivers far greater ROI but is a more complex science. To be successful at it, you’ll need to address the following questions:

  1. Which program will best engage and compel your guests?
  2. What type of loyalty program aligns with your concept type and brand?
  3. What kind of program can your staff effectively execute?
  4. Which program will help you achieve your restaurant’s financial goals?


Spread S’more Love: HuHot Mongolian Grill’s Success with Scoring on National S’mores Day

Before HuHot found Paytronix scoring, the marketing team would segment guests based upon how many visits a person had made in the past year. That old approach wasn’t perfect, as guests may have visited several times in a short period and then dropped off, so a lapsed guest could look like a frequent visitor. And a guest who may have only visited three times all year would likely be seen as a low-frequency guest, without the context to know all three of those visits took place within the past month.

HuHot uses scoring for smart, agile marketing automation that customizes Paytronix offers for light, medium and heavy user groups. Marketing can target guests with specific offers that drive their desired behavior, to produce incremental revenue. […]

The Biggest Restaurant Marketing Trends of 2018

Let’s face it –  last year was a challenge for the restaurant space. Whispers of an industry recession persisted throughout much of 2017 and same-store sales growth halted for many prominent brands. You’ve probably spent most of this new year wondering what your brand can do to thrive in 2018, and the best place to start is by identifying the trends that will dominate the industry landscape in the next 11+ months.

A panel of restaurant marketing experts who specialize in fields from customer data analysis to guest engagement program design recently offered their opinions on what will be the biggest restaurant marketing trends in 2018. Here are a few that you should be mindful of: […]