You’ve worked hard to get people to join your restaurant’s loyalty program, now you need to be sure you keep them there. When loyalty programs are easy to sign up for (which they should be!) they are pretty low risk from the consumer’s point of view. That means they’re also easy to leave if your guest has a change of heart.

Once you have guests in your loyalty program, you want to make sure they stay there. Want to avoid the dreaded opt out? Here are some tips to keeping them happy.

1- Deliver real value.

You want more loyal diners because they keep coming back and generally spend more money, but it has to be beneficial to them to get that result. Bottom line, diners won’t opt out of your loyalty program if they are getting something of real value. Review your loyalty program and be sure that the benefits and rewards are something that your diner’s actually want.

2- Make rewards happen.

Whatever the rewards are that you are offering, be sure people don’t have to work too hard to achieve them, especially in the beginning. Even people who aren’t at the VIP level should feel like their participation means something. Set up your program so that new sign ups get something for joining, and can get a reward early so that they feel it’s worthwhile and don’t forget that they signed up.

3- Offer an alternative.

Loyalty program or not, your top priority is always delivering a good guest experience. With that in mind, if someone wants to opt out, make it easy for them. But….try to find out why a guest is leaving the program and have alternatives ready. Maybe they receive too many emails for you, or feel creeped out that you know their favorite desserts. Whatever the reason, have alternatives ready to offer so that they stay involved without leaving.

The most successful loyalty programs are ones that make the guest feel special and delivers tangible value. If you notice a lot of people leaving your program, reassess what it is you’re offering in exchange for their loyalty, and try to craft a program that’s beneficial to your restaurant and your most loyal diners.

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Kristin lives on the West Side of Providence with her wine blogger husband. When she's not co-hosting their monthly wine tastings, she's planning her next travel adventure and daydreaming about Spanish jamón. She can often be found pouring over travel guides at her favorite neighborhood spot, Nick's on Broadway.