Young man ordering food in a restaurant. Handsome man checking his order written by waitress. Young waitress offering tasty dishes options to smiling guests. Waitress writing a order.

Wouldn’t you like to know how much your most loyal customers have spent in the last month, six months or year? Repeat purchases give you a better look into how well your loyalty efforts are succeeding. Loyalty great restaurant customer service paired with running programs directed at the right people.

According to Execution-MiH, the higher your repeat purchase value, the better you’re doing to keep customers loyal:

  • Higher repeat purchase value means a well-retained, satisfied customer.
  • Higher repeat purchase value drives higher customer value, which means a bettertop line.
  • Higher repeat purchase value can mean higher profitability, as it does not include new customer acquisition costs.

The trouble most restaurants have is actually obtaining this data, especially in an approachable way. So what can you do?

Restaurant manager talking to customers at their table

How to Increase Your Customer “Repeat Purchase” Rate

A customer that’s more likely to repeat purchase is the most profitable because they don’t require new customer acquisition costs. To get more customers like these, try these five tips.

1. Ditch paper punch cards. Paper is great at things like getting ripped and getting lost, but it’s not great for keeping in touch with your business loyalists. If you want an easy way to reward your most loyal customers, make the switch to digital.

Loyal regulars spend 67% more at restaurants than new guests do. With effective guest communication, you can make every guest a loyal regular.

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2. Foster a community around your customers. Social media isn’t just great for promotion, it’s amazing for making customers feel like they’re part of the big picture. You can use social media to ask customers which products to stock, what types of seasonal ingredients they drool over and anything else that will give them the warm fuzzies about you.

For more information on driving repeat guests and managing your reputation, check out this guide. 

3. Offer incentives for repeat purchases. When given the choice between ordering pizza from a pizza place with no reward system, or from one with a loyalty program that will eventually reward them with a discount or free pizza–most guests opt for the bonus. Use a digital loyalty program to effortlessly track these customers and their transactions while avoiding crumpled paper cards.

4. Say hello and remember their names. The number one way to generate repeat customers is to deliver superior customer service. This doesn’t just mean offering free oil changes either. Customer service refers to how you interact with every customer that walks in your door. Everybody wants to go to a place like Cheers where everybody knows their name, so remember theirs as if they’re family and use it every time they visit.

5. Put someone in charge of loyalty. Give your most enthusiastic employee the added title of “loyalty enthusiast” and let them pitch new ideas for increasing customer happiness. This person can focus on figuring out ways to make you stand out from the crowd, by, for example, delivering the meal check in a card that says “Thank You” or by sending gifts that relate to customers’ most common purchases. The key to word-of-mouth is to surprise customers with something unexpected, like Bokx109 in Newton, Massachusetts, who surprises guests with a bowl of cotton candy with their checks.

Check out Upserve’s restaurant guest experience guide!

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As part of Upserve’s family of more than 10,000 restaurants, The Chef is Restaurant Insider’s secret weapon in the kitchen. As a restaurant expert in all things marketing, menu building, management, training and more, restaurateurs trust The Chef and the award-winning Restaurant Insider to dish out the ingredients needed to make your business a sweet success.