This post was shared by our friends at Upserve POS – a restaurant management platform built by restauranteurs.

Many new restaurant owners make the mistake of focusing too much on acquiring new customers rather than working to retain the customers they already have. Harvard Business reports that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%! That means if you’re not focusing on turning one-time customers into repeat customers, you’re essentially throwing your hard-earned money right out the window.

Now that you know why it (literally) pays to put effort toward customer retention, you might be wondering how to start. There’s a good chance that you already have the main tool you need to make it happen: your restaurant’s POS system.

Most POS systems, especially the modern, cloud-based set, already have the data and capabilities you need to make your customers happy and keep them coming back again and again. Here’s how:

A Focus on Personalization

Most POS systems will not only track each customer’s purchase history, but will easily sync up with a loyalty program to create personalized incentives and offers that keep your guests coming back for the dishes they love the most. Imagine how impactful it would be if, thanks to your data tracking from your POS, you discovered that chips and guacamole is by far the most popular appetizer on your menu. Backed by these insights, you could whip up a special on chips and guac during your slowest day of the week to attract existing fans and newcomers. You’d have guests becoming weekly regulars in no time.

Easy Automation

The story of The Plant Cafe is an example of how powerful loyalty programs can be. The Plant Cafe made use of Upserve’s customer loyalty program to quickly launch a custom, branded loyalty program. Today the program has more than 1,000 members who have collectively spent more than $455,500 at the cafe.

These types of loyalty programs practically set themselves up and run automatically. The customer’s credit or debit card automatically becomes their rewards card and rewards are earned automatically with no effort from staff. Plus, customers can quickly enroll in the program from their smartphone.

Speedier Service

Because most modern POS systems run on tablets, opting for one that has some serious speed will make sure that your restaurant is getting drinks and meals out to your customers as quickly as possible. As Hospitality Tech notes, “Hardware and software components of POS systems contribute to the speed it takes to serve each customer.”

upserve candybar guestpost - customer loyalty with point of sales

Customers hate waiting – and they’ll be particularly vocal in their reviews.

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a POS machine slow your team down when the rush hits. Delayed orders mean unhappy customers, who become increasingly less likely to return. Plus, a slow POS system is a surefire way to upset your servers as well, leading to discontent among those who should be ambassadors of your brand and business. The more you’re able to retain talented waitstaff, the happier your customers will be, and the more likely they’ll be to come back—with friends.

Seamless Integration with Delivery Apps

Modern consumers love the ease and efficiency that technology can offer, which is why they’re increasingly more apt to order their dinner on a mobile app and have it dropped off at their door within the hour. While some restaurant owners may lament lower turnout at brick-and-mortar locations, savvy restaurateurs will get on board, offering online ordering and delivery as a way to get your food directly to a new customer base. Using popular platforms like UberEats or DoorDash, consumers can try your food via delivery first. If they enjoy it, they are more likely to remember your restaurant the next time they’re looking to go out for a nice meal or drink.

upserve candybar loyalty guestpost - food delivery

Delivery apps could bring customers back to your door

However, if you don’t have the right POS system, the process can lead to a disaster in the form of missed orders and and overwhelmed kitchen. Choose a POS system that makes integration easy and tracks every order, digital and in-house, in one streamlined place.

Making the Most of Data

There’s no way around it: You can’t have repeat sales without good data to inform your decisions. As Shopify notes, “Repeat customer rate is the backbone of retention marketing. It measures the percentage of customers willing to make a second purchase from you. Measuring your repeat purchase rate is an excellent way of evaluating how well your retention strategy is actually working.” Your restaurant POS system should track this number for you so that you’re only a tap of a button away from seeing and analyzing your metrics and success.

If the number is high, keep up the good work. If it’s not, then you know it’s time to make a change and reassess. With the right data in hand, figuring out an effective customer retention strategy is easy as pie.

Five Ways Your Restaurant POS Can Create Happy Customers and Drive Repeat Sales

Here’s how the right POS software can drive repeat sales:

  1. Create personalised offers and incentives
  2. Easily automate loyalty programs
  3. Offer speedier service to reduce customers waiting
  4. Easy integration with popular delivery apps
  5. Generate metrics for analysis
Raúl Galera

Posted by Raúl Galera

Raúl is ReferralCandy's partner manager.