Stephen Stone
Stephen Stone
Stephen Stone is a content marketing specialist at Paytronix. With a Bachelors Degree from Fitchburg State University and a Masters in Communication Management from Emerson College, Stephen is well-versed in all things communication.

Why Do Guests Stop Visiting Restaurants? (It’s Not Always the Food or the Service)

When you notice a slowdown at your restaurant — quieter Saturday nights, lower check totals, fewer filled tables – you may think it’s because of your food or service. After all, the reason customers aren’t returning must be one of those two things, doesn’t it?

Well, focusing on just food or service overlooks a crucial third pillar of any successful restaurant: its technology. From the way you construct emails to your mobile app or website, technology plays a big role in how guests perceive your brand. And if you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing new guest engagement technology, you can connect with guests in ways that separates you from the competition.

Unfortunately, some restaurant owners who implemented technology with the best intentions and believe they’re applying best guest engagement are often making critical mistakes. In many cases, the way restaurants use technology to engage with customers is what’s driving those customers away.

Here are five ways your guest engagement technology might be causing more harm than good. […]

How Chick-fil-A® Rewards its Best Guests Without Sacrificing Profit

There’s an interesting problem that restaurants with loyalty programs face. All of the behavioral data gleaned from these programs means that restaurants can easily identify their best customers: the people who spend the most and visit most frequently. And that’s very useful for creating profitable campaigns.

Running unsegmented promotions can cannibalize profit because your best guests will receive the same promotion as your less frequent customers. Your best guests are going to come in anyway, and discounting purchases they were already going to make can hurt profits.

Discounts and promotions designed to drive revenue should only […]

Fourth Visit’s the Charm: How to Create Loyal Customers

Before digital loyalty programs, restaurants had no real way of figuring out which visitors were likely to return. And, what’s worse, they had no way of effectively incentivizing visitors who could become loyal to return.

Today, identifying and nurturing potential loyal customers is more important than ever; people have a seemingly endless array of options when it comes to their meals. They can purchase ingredients at the grocery store to cook at home, or have ingredients delivered to their door using increasingly popular services like Blue Apron. For a quicker meal, they can buy pre-prepared hot food from supermarkets or convenience stores, order takeout, or go out to eat.

How can your restaurant compete?

The answer is as simple as it is challenging: Get customers to meet the four-visit milestone.

Obviously, you want people to visit, and to visit often. But your goals can be much more specific than that. Data shows that each visit increases the chance that a customer will visit again, effectively choosing you over your competitors.

With the second visit, […]

Your Campaign Results Might Be Lying to You

The only way to know if your loyalty or other guest-engagement campaigns are succeeding is to track them and analyze your results. Unfortunately, even numbers that appear straightforward can contain hidden implications.

Depending on how you look at your data, a campaign can seem like a roaring success or a misfire. But sometimes it requires further analysis to determine if your initial assessments are accurate.

In worst-case scenarios, you may discover that a campaign you decide to run again based on previous positive data had been a misfire the entire time. Not only are you producing unfavorable results, but you are also wasting time, manpower, and money.

For example, let’s say you set up a “We Miss You” campaign. These are fairly common loyalty program campaigns in which you send out an offer to people who have not visited your stores in a while to encourage them to return. After deciding that you’re going to set up a campaign for people who have not visited in 60 days, you send them a coupon for 15 percent off an entrée.

Once you’ve run the campaign and examined your results, the numbers look great. Many guests who had not visited in 60 days made visits during the campaign period and used the coupon you sent them. It seems like the campaign was a resounding success!

But was it truly successful? Sometimes results in campaigns like this are deceiving. […]