As your restaurant continues to navigate the perils of the pandemic, your customers will continue to be the difference between staying open and shutting down.

We’ve been talking about it since the opening weeks of the pandemic. Because of coronavirus, customer loyalty has never been more important to restaurants looking to keep their doors open. It was true in April and it’s true today. Through the ups and the downs, closures and reopenings, your loyal customers are the ones who will help continue to patronize your restaurant on a consistent, reliable basis.

But loyalty has to be built. Not only that, it needs to be maintained. And that’s where your loyalty program comes in.

During a pandemic, a hole-punch card isn’t going to cut it. (Arguably, I don’t think a hole-punch card is going to cut it when the pandemic is over anyway, but that’s beside my point.) If you want to succeed at loyalty, you need to go digital.

Here’s four ways a digital loyalty program can help your restaurant succeed during COVID-19.

Communicate directly. One of the other things we’ve been talking about during the pandemic is the importance of communication and keeping your customers informed. From email to social media, there’s no shortage of ways to do so. However, digital loyalty programs offer one of the more direct avenues toward engaging your customers on a more personal level.

With digital loyalty, you can keep your customers informed. From your latest safety updates to changes in your hours of operation, your customers want to know the latest. Especially your most loyal ones.

Track and engage. With the right tech in place (like with a loyalty program powered by CoGoBuzz), you can track and engage your customers as they visit your restaurant. You can see what days they’re ordering, how long they’re sticking around, and how long it’s been since their last visit. This valuable data can help fuel your restaurant’s marketing initiatives.

Automate and save time. If there’s one thing the pandemic is doing, it’s probably keeping you pretty busy trying to keep your restaurant open. Every minute of your time is valuable. Constantly worrying about the finer details of marketing, on top of safety measures, budgetary concerns, employee health, and so many other factors, will eat up a lot of that time.

With a digital loyalty program, you can leverage marketing automation to save time. Want to automate an entire text campaign in advance? With CoGoBuzz, it’s easy and effortless.

Seasonal marketing. Last week, I wrote about how restaurants can adapt their fall marketing plans to the new normal. One of the ideas I suggested involved using your restaurant’s loyalty program to engage customers with fall-themed rewards, contests, promotions, and more.

Whether it’s fall, winter, spring, or summer, Injecting some seasonal flare into your loyalty program can make it more appealing to customers. This applies during the new normal and beyond. It helps keep your loyalty program fresh when customers aren’t just seeing the same rewards and promotions.

Succeed With CoGoBuzz

With CoGoBuzz, we’re here to help your restaurant succeed as it moves forward from the pandemic. Our state-of-the-art digital marketing service can help your restaurant build and maintain a strong base of loyal customers, which will ultimately help your restaurant survive.

Our service directly promotes your services to customer mobile devices. Leveraging advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, CoGoBuzz promotes your restaurant both in-store and out. It comes packed with a fully digital, text-based loyalty program, allowing you to let your customers know what services you’re offering – all with just a simple text. Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz.

Whether you’re one of our current customers, or you’re interested in joining the CoGoBuzz family, we’re committed to helping businesses affected by COVID-19.

For current customers, we’re providing free text message service, allowing you to send a link to order online, purchase gift cards, and/or notify customers of new hours.

For new customers, we’re offering our hardware at cost, donating our services, time, and covering shipping costs. Prepare for the future with CoGoWiFi Free to collect your customers’ phone numbers. There are no contracts or monthly fees, and we offer unlimited customer data storage.

Message from our CEO

“From pricing to packaging, our mission has always been to provide customers with unbeatable value. That’s why, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeking to provide the most aggressive offers to help suffering restaurants survive. We believe that half of small restaurants will fail in the year after operations return to normal. The restaurants that survive and thrive will be the ones that win loyalty and focus on bringing customers back over the following year.”

– Steve Gould, CEO

Click here for more details on how we’re handling the crisis.

Has your restaurant made use of its loyalty program during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments.