Glossary of Marketing Terms

View Glossaries

What is a restaurant loyalty platform?  

A restaurant loyalty platform is a system designed to encourage customers to visit a restaurant more frequently and spend more money. They typically involve customers signing up for a program that tracks their purchases and rewards them for their loyalty. These rewards can come in many forms, like points redeemable for free meals, birthday discounts, or exclusive menu items.

How does a restaurant loyalty platform work?  

Restaurant loyalty programs work by offering customers rewards for their business, typically in the form of points, free items, or exclusive perks.  

Here's a breakdown of the mechanics:

Earning rewards

  • Purchases: This is the most common way to earn points. Customers accumulate points with each visit or based on the amount they spend.
  • Engagement: Some programs reward points for actions beyond purchases, like signing up, leaving reviews, or following the restaurant on social media.


  • Digital: Many programs are app-based, where customers can access their account, track points, and redeem rewards.
  • Physical: Traditionally, programs used punch cards where customers get a stamp with each purchase. These are being phased out in favor of digital options.
  • POS Integration: For both digital and physical programs, restaurants often link the loyalty system to their point-of-sale (POS) system to automatically track purchases.


  • Points: Customers can redeem accumulated points for free items, discounts on meals, or even merchandise.
  • Tiers: Some programs have tiers where customers unlock better rewards as they reach higher point thresholds.
  • Birthday/special occasion perks: Many programs offer special rewards like birthday freebies or exclusive menu items during celebrations.

Data collection

  • By tracking customer activity, restaurants gain valuable insights into their preferences. This data can be used for targeted marketing campaigns, personalized promotions, and understanding their most loyal customers.

Turn Rewards into Growth   Experience seamless delivery of rewards in over 100 countries with the largest global catalog with Xoxoday! 

What are the components of a restaurant loyalty platform?  

The components of a restaurant loyalty platform are

Key components

  1. Customer enrollment:
  • Sign-up process: Customers can enroll in the loyalty program through various channels such as a mobile app, website, or in-store.
  • Data collection: Basic customer information is collected, which can include name, email, phone number, and preferences.
  1. Point accumulation:
  • Earning points: Customers earn points for every purchase they make. The system can be configured to reward points based on the amount spent, specific menu items purchased, or visit frequency.
  • Bonus points: Special promotions can offer bonus points for certain actions, such as visiting on a customer's birthday, referring a friend, or ordering during off-peak hours.
  1. Rewards system
  • Redeeming points: Points can be redeemed for rewards such as discounts, free items, or exclusive experiences.
  • Tiered programs: Some platforms offer tiered loyalty programs where customers unlock higher levels of rewards as they accumulate more points.
  1. Customer engagement
  • Personalized offers: The platform can send targeted promotions based on customer preferences and purchase history.
  • Communication channels: Engage customers through emails, SMS, push notifications, and social media.
  1. Analytics and reporting
  • Customer insights: Detailed reports on customer behavior, preferences, and spending patterns.
  • Campaign effectiveness: Metrics to evaluate the success of loyalty campaigns and promotions.

What are the key features of a restaurant loyalty platform?  

Restaurant loyalty platforms come with a variety of features to incentivize customers and benefit the restaurant. Here are some key ones:

For customers

  • Reward system: This is the core, with options like points for purchases, tiered programs for increased benefits, and bonus points for specific actions.
  • Mobile app integration: Many platforms offer a mobile app for easy program access, points tracking, reward redemption, and potentially even mobile ordering.
  • Personalized offers: Based on purchase history and preferences, some programs deliver targeted promotions or discounts.
  • Birthday and special occasion rewards: Freebies or exclusive menu items on birthdays or anniversaries can add a special touch.
  • Gamification: Earning points or badges can make the program more engaging, especially for younger demographics.
  • Social media integration: Connecting the program to social media allows for sharing and potential bonus points for following the restaurant online.

For restaurants:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM): Tracks customer data like purchase history, preferences, and demographics for targeted marketing.
  • Data analytics: Provides insights into customer behavior to optimize rewards, promotions, and menus based on what resonates with your audience.
  • Targeted marketing: Allows for sending personalized emails or app notifications with special offers to specific customer segments.
  • Feedback mechanism: Some platforms offer built-in surveys or review options to gather valuable customer feedback.
  • Order history and preferences: Provides insights into popular dishes and allows for personalized recommendations to increase order value.
  • Inventory management: Understanding customer preferences can help with inventory planning and minimizing food waste.

Additional features:

  • Referral programs: Incentivize existing customers to recommend the restaurant to friends and family.
  • Pre-ordering and online reservations: May be integrated with the platform for added convenience.
  • Payment integration: Allowing secure in-app payments can streamline the ordering process.

Where can you implement a restaurant loyalty platform?  

Restaurant loyalty platforms can be implemented across a wide range of restaurant types and business models. Here are some examples:

  • Full-service restaurants: Upscale establishments can use them to reward frequent diners and incentivize them to try new menu items.
  • Fast food chains: Loyalty programs can encourage repeat visits and promote value meals or specific menu items.
  • Coffee shops and cafes: Rewarding regular customers with free drinks or discounts can drive brand loyalty.
  • Quick-serve restaurants (QSRs): Mobile apps with loyalty programs can be particularly useful for easy ordering and reward tracking for busy customers.
  • Delivery and takeout restaurants: Loyalty programs can incentivize repeat takeout orders and encourage customers to try delivery options.

Beyond the type of restaurant, these platforms can also be implemented by businesses with different service models:

  • Independent restaurants: Loyalty programs can help them compete with larger chains by fostering customer loyalty.
  • Franchise restaurants: Many national chains have established loyalty programs that can be integrated into individual franchise locations.
  • Fine dining establishments: Exclusive rewards programs can enhance the customer experience and encourage repeat visits for special occasions.

Who should manage the restaurant loyalty platform?

The ideal person to manage a restaurant loyalty program depends on the size and structure of the restaurant, but there are a few strong contenders:

  • Marketing manager: For larger restaurants with dedicated marketing teams, the marketing manager is a strong choice. They possess the skills for crafting targeted campaigns, understanding customer behavior, and utilizing data analytics to optimize the program.
  • Operations manager: If the restaurant doesn't have a marketing department, the operations manager might be a good fit. They oversee daily operations and customer interactions, making them familiar with customer needs and able to ensure smooth program integration.
  • Tech-savvy staff member: In smaller restaurants, a designated staff member with strong technical skills can manage the platform. They'd be responsible for handling customer enrollment, app updates (if applicable), and ensuring the program runs smoothly.

Resources & Blogs

No items found.

Quick Links

Reward solutions
Branded gift cards