October 27, 2020

3 ways restaurants can take the risk out of rewards

Written By
Rob Kenny, Director of Restaurant Partnerships

As digital conveniences and a new global reality shape consumer behaviors, the trend towards on-demand dining, mobile brand experiences, convenience, and safety intensifies. Reward programs can be tricky for restaurants to integrate into their brand experience but it doesn’t have to be that way. A cash back rewards program can drive incremental sales while enhancing the brand experience. The right cash back rewards program can do it with an entirely frictionless experience. 

Restaurants looking for a cash reward, digital advertising platform partner should look for one that extends their brand and reach, has minimal training requirements, and has a seamless redemption process for the back-of-the-house. A well-timed, cash back rewards campaign can help restaurants ensure a successful fall and winter as 2020 is proving to be eventful and unpredictable.

According to the 2020 Digital Commerce and CLO Annual Industry Study by the CardLinx Association, restaurants remain the leading category for cash back, card-linked offers and it is clear why. Cash back, card-linked campaigns seamlessly combine online and in-restaurant promotions and brand experiences while driving loyalty and growth through a performance-based, 100% attributable digital marketing platform. It’s a win-win: the guest receives a positive emotional connection with the restaurant when receiving their cash back reward while the restaurant receives increases in sales lift, average check amount and brand loyalty.

When thinking about implementing a cash back campaign, restaurants should carefully consider a rewards partner that removes the following points of friction, and reduces the risk of a traditional cash back program. Here are a few things restaurants should expect from their cash back programs:

1. Easy Back-of-House Integration

More than ever, restaurants need tech-driven, plug-and-play rewards programs. The ideal cash back rewards platform would require no equipment purchases and create zero impact on restaurant operations. With the Dosh cash back experience, because the rewards are linked to the form of payment, crew members, waitstaff, and hosts don’t need to go through time consuming training on how to apply the offers, be surprised with a cash back offer when guests are settling up the check, or worry how a cash back promotion might directly impact their take-home. The more frictionless a cash back promotion is with the back of the house, the more likely the program will be a success.

2. Consistent Brand Experience

As many restaurateurs know - guests eat with their eyes. Restaurant marketers should seek partners that help extend their brand experience by incorporating branded, compelling visuals into the reward or offer. This way guests will experience consistently delicious imagery and messaging throughout their experience from research and ordering through to delivery or dine-in. Industry leading rewards platforms extend the restaurant’s digital marketing experience beyond the reward or offer to emails and smartphone notifications. These notifications are key in providing surprise and delight opportunities that bring guests back for more, while giving the restaurant an additional branded communication touch point after the transaction, extending the experience to ensure it ends on a positive note.

3. Zero Risk with All the Rewards

Successful restaurants turn to cash back rewards programs because they work to help them grow. Restaurants are seeking out performance-driven digital advertising platforms that encourage visits and incentivizes both net new, loyal and lapsed guests to come back more frequently. According to a recent Forrester report, Dosh’s cash back campaigns have shown to lift sales, achieve a return on advertising spend (ROAS) that is more than double other digital advertising channels. Restaurants looking to engage new, younger guests, who have been an elusive target for many restaurant partners, are also seeking out rewards programs to target these groups. The Center for Generational Kinetics analyzed the shopping and dining dynamics of Millennials and Gen Zers and found that: 73% of Gen Z and 81% of Millennials would dine at a new casual dining or QSR restaurant if alerted to a cash back offer. Smartphone-based rewards programs, like Dosh app, target Millennials and Gen Zers where they spend most of their time while providing greater immediacy and connection to the brand.

Savvy restaurants looking to attract more loyal guests and increase sales this holiday season are partnering with rewards programs such as Dosh to launch strategic cash back, card-linked campaigns. The seamless back-of-house integrations along with branded offers and guest communications help restaurants attract new guests and increase sales lift. With the right digital marketing platform, restaurants can start a tech-driven rewards program with minimal investment and risk while maximizing their digital advertising spend to help achieve their year end goals.

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