In 2018, it seems like a no-brainer for restaurants to have a gift card and loyalty program. But the fact is, many independently owned and operated single store restaurants just haven’t taken the time to make it a part of their business strategies. If you haven’t yet evaluated   all of the ways a cloud-based gift card solution, integrated with your point of sale (POS), can grow revenue and customer loyalty, you’ve come to the right place.  We’ve done the leg work for you and narrowed down the top 6 things you need to know about implementing gift and loyalty programs.

1. You’re Losing Money if You Don’t Have One

You’re in the business of making money. Did you know that gift card holders spend on average 40% more than a card’s value? Additionally, when asked what types of gift cards people plan to purchase, 41% responded with restaurant gift cards—that’s the number one gift card type, even outpacing Visa/Mastercard and department store gift cards. If you haven’t implemented a gift card and loyalty program, then you are missing out on market potential and revenue.

2. Everyone’s Using Them

Remember when your mom used to say, “Just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t mean you should?” Well, in this case, she’d be wrong. Recent data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that gift cards are the most-asked-for gift for 11 consecutive years and counting! Last year, 63% of shoppers purchased at least one gift card. A gift card and loyalty program is definitely one bandwagon restaurant owners really need to jump on.

3. Increase Your Customer Base

There’s no better compliment than your best patrons introducing your restaurant to a new customer via a gift card. An astounding 90% of consumers received a gift card last year! We’ll gamble that a high percentage of those individuals would be first time customers to your restaurant. Gift cards incentivize new customers to try your fare—after all they’re in the mindset of getting a free meal—but as we mentioned in point one, most likely leave spending 40% more!

4. Boost Sales

Beat blue Mondays with double rewards for your most loyal customers. A gift card and loyalty program can help boost sales during slow periods. But wait there’s more! Want to increase revenue during the busy season without an increase in labor cost?  Offer gift card-focused marketing campaigns and reward customers who purchase their first gift card or loyalty members for each gift card they purchase!

5. Leverage Popular Holidays and Events

Last year, data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) showed that about half of all Americans spent $2.2 billion on gift cards for Father’s Day and $4.2 billion on brunch or dinner outings on Mother’s Day. A loyalty program can help leverage these and other events by offering reward incentives or freebies for guests of honor like Mom and Dad.

6. Cloud Hosted for Security and Satisfaction

If there’s one thing you take away from this article, it should be dollar signs. The second should be security. A cloud hosted gift card and loyalty solution protects your customers’ card balances and points, while keeping the data secure from both threats and disaster. Should your hard drive become compromised, your data won’t be lost, creating unhappy customers and causing you to start a new program from scratch.

In 2018, a cloud hosted gift card and loyalty program is a must for restaurants. Without it, you may be leaving money at the table. Evergreen Point of Sale can help you implement a gift and loyalty solution that meets your business needs while integrating with your current POS system.