11 Factors to Consider When Creating a Restaurant Subscription Service

Are you looking for a way to draw in new customers? And reward your loyal following with some bonuses?

In that case, this article has everything you need to know about making it happen.

As of 2022, experts estimate that there are over 1 million dining outlets in the U.S. With the pandemic ending, the industry is back in full swing, and competition is higher than ever in the past.

But with so much competition, you need to make your establishment stand out. One simple yet effective measure is to set up a restaurant subscription service.

Before signing up, you should know what to consider when creating a subscription service. So read on to uncover why subscription programs can bring in new and reward your loyal customers.

Table of Contents

1. A Digital or Card-Based Restaurant Subscription Option

Before you start a food subscription, you need to learn which one best suits your business.

If you ever signed up for a restaurant or cafe subscription, you should be familiar with both. Yet, they both offer restaurant owners and customers different positives and negatives.

Card-Based Restaurant Subscription Options

Almost everyone has experienced a card-based restaurant subscription. They date back to the 1800s when people used stamps for rewards in the store. Still, to this day, some outlets use card-based subscriptions to reward loyalty.

It is a fantastic option for a startup or a small business. They’re easy to control, cheap to manage, and you can carry out the process without help.

The process is simple. The customer gets a stamp on the card each time they spend money in the store. Once the card fills up, the person receives a reward, such as a free coffee.

Digital Restaurant Subscription Options

We live in a world full of technology and convenience. Therefore, it is no surprise that digital systems are in demand.

People can easily access their reward program online or through an app. A bonus is that it will spread brand awareness and help take your company into the 21st century.

When starting, a digital subscription is a bit more expensive than a card-based system. But as Titus Maccius Plautus once said, “You have to spend money to make money.” And that is especially true in the restaurant business.

You can purchase an affordable top-class plan that suits you for only $79.99.

2. Offer Customers a Unique Food Subscription

As mentioned, the competition in the food industry has never been higher. So outlets are coming up with new ways to stand out from the crowd. 

You are not the only one to think of a restaurant subscription service. Some restaurants have subscription services used by over 200 million people.

You must have a distinguishable offer from your rivals to make your service unique. It can be a free dessert, extended happy hours, or cut-price discounts on specials of the day. The list goes on.

Present customers with offers that they can not receive from your competition.

3. Make Your Offers Achievable for Business

Offers you can’t find anywhere else are the backbone of a successful subscription. However, if those offers are costing you money week in and week out, it can quickly turn the outlet into a failure.

Begin by figuring out the profit and break-even margins. From there, you can estimate if the offers you’re dishing out will lose you money. 

The offers do not always have to make much of a profit. You can use them to entice people into the restaurant, where they can spend more on other drinks and dishes.

4. Make Your Offers Achievable for Customers

On the flip side, if your customers struggle to achieve the rewards, they won’t feel a need to stick around. 

A study shows that over 44% of people eat out only once a week. So, if people get a free starter for every sixth meal, they can receive eight free starters in the year. However, if people get a starter after every 12th meal, people won’t find it as much of a reason to keep coming back.

If people don’t find a reason to keep coming back, they will find a similar outlet with better incentives.

5. Give Immediate Incentives to Join

Most types of subscriptions offer customers incentives in the future. That is great for existing loyal customers, but new people might not want to wait a month or two for a reward. 

Many establishments offer newcomers discounts, such as 20% or 25% off their first order. When people search for an outlet to choose from, they will instantly move towards savings. That’s even if they had no intention of ordering from your establishment.

It doesn’t have to be a generic discount offer. It can be a buy one get one free, a complimentary bottle of wine when you spend over 20 USD, or free delivery for takeaways.

When you get your customers signed up, it is up to your loyalty program and quality food to keep them there.

6. Familiarize Your Staff and Colleagues With the Program

If there is a mistake or a problem with the system, customers won’t be happy if they don’t receive their reward. After all, they were entitled to one.

The best way to avoid a discontent customer is by educating your staff about the program. Include how the system works, how to add or change offers, and what offers are available during a period.

They can also create ideas or new offers to help the program grow.

7. Review Customers Feedback

Reviewing customer feedback is essential for developing your food subscription. Yet, so many people either avoid or forget about this step.

Customers will give you an insight into their thoughts on the service. You understand their dislike, how you can improve and why it’s not taking off the mark. You will also discover all that’s great about the system and what makes people return to the store.

8. Surprise Guests With Personal Rewards

A surprise, no matter how small, can go a long way in covering your restaurant in bright light. If you’ve ever had a free room upgrade or got an unexpected discount on clothes, you’ll know how exciting it can be. 

You can get an insight into people’s preferences using a digital subscription service. It can show what time and day of the week someone regularly comes to dine at your restaurant. Or what foods are drinks they consumed?

That allows you to customize a surprise offer just for them. For example, if someone always orders a pizza on Tuesday, you can offer 20% off pizzas during the week for next month.

9. Don't Let Your Customers Slip Away

Every once in a while, a subscriber might drift away. However, you can tempt anyone back to your restaurant.

You’ll know exactly why someone left your subscription if you review your customer feedback. You can use that knowledge to lure that same person back to the restaurant.

If someone mentioned the lack of beverages, expand and set up a new drinks menu. You can mention your new drinks and offer a complimentary cocktail with their next meal. 

The customer will be glad you acknowledged their review and feedback.

10. Promote Your Subscription Services

You can deliver the best offers in town and give rewards that will keep people coming back for years. Even so, nobody can take advantage of the opportunity if people don’t know about your services.

Social media platforms are the ideal spot to promote your food subscription.

It is free to use, and as we approach 2023, there are around 4.7 billion social media users. You can use paid ads to promote offers to those in your local area. Also, to promote brand awareness to new customers.

Additionally, you can post announcements on social media platforms. Let the community know that you’re hosting an event for subscribers. Or about any new updates entering the system.

Email marketing is another successful tool to help grow your subscription. It is a digital marketing technique used to promote a brand or company through emails. You can reach out to any previous customer that left their email with someone in your store or your website.

11. Build Relationships

Rewards are the first step to feeling special in your restaurants. But knowing your loyal following by name puts a personal touch every time they step foot in the outlet. 

People are more inclined to be loyal to a person than to a business. So be sure to interact with your subscribers and go that extra mile to put a smile on their faces. It can be as simple as reserving their favorite seat for lunch.

Create Your Restaurant Subscription Today

After reading our guide, you should know the importance of a restaurant subscription in the 21st century. Every minute you go without one, the further you fall behind your competitors.

Luckily you came to the right place. Now you know how to reward your loyal following and gain new customers to your dining outlet. 

All that is left is for you to purchase a digital-based restaurant reward system. So book a demo today and watch your establishment rise to the top!