Sneak Peek: ChowNow's New, Free Loyalty Program for Restaurants | ChowNow
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Sneak Peek: ChowNow’s Free Loyalty Program for Restaurants

March 25th, 2020 Restaurant Tech

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing so many restaurants to close their dining rooms, lay off staff, and shut down all together, there’s a new urgency to ChowNow’s mission of helping local restaurants thrive. 

We want to do everything we can to help our restaurant partners sustain their sales, strengthen their customer relationships, and serve their communities for years to come. That’s why we’re excited to introduce a new, free loyalty program for your restaurant.

Our Product team has been working tirelessly to get this up and running, and we’re offering it to our live restaurant partners first. We want you to join early so you can start seeing the benefits immediately.

Let’s take a closer look at how it all works.

What is ChowNow’s new loyalty product?

ChowNow’s new loyalty product is a membership program between diners and your restaurant. Customers can prepay a membership fee to join — 100% of which goes directly to you — and in return they get a discount on orders for the coming year when they order Direct from your restaurant, either through your website or mobile app. 

You can think of it as a subscription loyalty program: Your customers will pay upfront to support your restaurant and sustain it throughout the year. In turn, they’ll get a perk whenever they order. 

With this program, restaurants get a cash infusion, while customers are incentivized to order again and again straight from their favorite eateries.

How much does it cost?

We’re proud to offer this product to your restaurant at zero cost. This is truly meant to drive more revenue back to your restaurant — we’re not here to take a cut.

What are the benefits?

We’ve designed this new program to achieve three important goals for your business:

  1. Put dollars in your pocket immediately, at no cost to you. With your customers paying upfront, you’ll get the money when you need it most—right now.
  2. Increase customer loyalty and boost your order volume for an entire year. Loyalty programs have been shown to increase both order frequency and order sizes. As much as 60% of consumers report that membership in a loyalty program increases their visits to a business, and frequency and order size are closely correlated. When your customers know they’ll get a discount every time they order, they’ll spend more and keep coming back.
  3. Lock those loyal customers into ordering Direct every time — increasing your profits and avoiding third-party commissions. After all, that’s why you have your very own online ordering system!

How does it work?

Your diners sign up for your membership program and select from one of three tiers: pay $25 to get 10% off orders for 1 year, $40 to get 15% off orders for 1 year, or $100 to get 25% off orders for one year.

The year-long membership—which does not automatically renew—works at a single location only, and these discounts will only apply on Direct orders placed through your own website or mobile app. 

Down the road, we’ll be working on ensuring they work across all of your commission-free ordering channels, including Discover — the ChowNow website and iPhone app.

25% off is a big discount. Can I just offer the Bronze and Silver tiers to my customers?

In order to participate in the program, you must offer all tiers to your customers. That said, the way we’ve designed the offers ensures that you’ll only provide discounts to your most loyal patrons. In fact, a Gold level member would need to spend at least $400 on orders at your restaurant before you even start discounting. Take a look at the math in the next section of this post to see how this works out. 

Is this a good deal for me?

Yes! You pay nothing to be part of the program, so all the membership revenue goes directly to you up-front

If you’re worried about discounting hurting your revenue, consider that your customers will need to spend even more before you start actually giving away any percentage of your sales. Let’s do the math. 

For example: A customer joins your membership program for $100 to get a 25% discount on their orders for one year. This customer will need to spend another $400 on orders (meaning $500 total spent at your restaurant, including the $100 membership fee) before they would hit the break-even point and start to save money. In other words, it’s only after your customer spends this $500 that you would truly start discounting.

Imagine if that customer spends a total of $1,000 on orders, plus their $100 membership fee. It would actually end up saving them $150 — a 15% savings over full price orders. Take a look at the table below to see how it pencils out.

That 15% that your restaurant would give in discounts is a fraction of what those orders would have cost your business if they’d been ordered through a third-party platform.

Through this process, you incentivize repeat orders while training your loyal diners to order Direct now and far into the future.

How will the loyalty program be promoted to my customers?

We’ll promote the new loyalty product through ChowNow’s marketing channels, as well as help you get the word out through your own channels. 

In the works we have a new, branded email template that we’ll set up and send out on behalf of your restaurant to your diners. We’ll also advertise the program with ads and press — getting as many customers on board as we can to support your restaurant.

How do I opt in early?

We emailed an opt-in form to your restaurant — fill out the three required sections, and we’ll get you set up! And please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need the opt-in form sent to you again.

When is it expected to go live?

Our Product team is working around the clock to get this ready for launch. We’ll send you an official announcement email when the program is about to go live — stay tuned!

Check out this video from ChowNow’s CEO, Christopher Webb, for a more in-depth explanation of how this product works:


We’re looking forward to helping you strengthen your customer connections with this new loyalty product. For any additional questions, please contact our Memberships Squad at memberships@chownow.com

Eliza Fisher

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