3 Big Changes Looming For Restaurants?

Restaurant Business |
Peter Romeo |
Oct 22, 2018
Original Article: "3 Big Changes Looming For Restaurants?"

Third-party delivery and guest loyalty programs may be undergoing a major change, according to attendees of this week’s TechTable conference.

Several of the mega-forces shaping the restaurant business are set for a near-term change in direction, predicted participants at an industry event this week, citing third-party delivery and guest loyalty programs as particularly likely to veer sharply.

Here’s what they foresee for those sales drivers. 

The restaurant loyalty card is dead

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Rich Melman’s model multi-concept operation in Chicago, had overcome a host of challenges to develop a single loyalty program for regulars at any of its 120 restaurants and 65 brands. Patrons were even willing to pay a $25 charge to enroll, which they could only recoup by dining in an LEYE restaurant at least three times.

But management detected a problem, and it was a biggie: “The average age [of members] was 47,” recalled Jennifer Bell, EVP of marketing and a partner in the firm. “It had been 47 for some time, and we had opened all these cool places for young people.” Its card-carrying loyalists weren’t the customers it was hoping to win and keep with each opening.

The company decided to jump to a new generation of loyalty program, a setup that would appeal to consumers accustomed to dealing with apps. It began the process of luring patrons to that new platform, an endeavor Bell described as dauntingly expensive. Servers were offered a $5 commission for every person they convinced to download an LEYE loyalty app. Bell also worked with Facebook to identify would-be members and solicit their enrollment.

It also discovered that patrons were more likely to redeem their discounts with an app. Some users of the LEYE loyalty card had run up credits of more than $1,000,  but didn’t even realize it because the process for checking balances was complicated. With the app, the discount is instantly accessible and ready to be used. 

The tough slog was worth it, Bell attested at TechTable. “Our app now has almost 300,000 people on it. We started with 7,500,” she said. And the average age of loyalty program members has dropped to 38.

Media Contact

Emily Clark pr@leye.com 773-878-7340

You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: A Glimpse Into the Lettuce Entertain You Test Kitchen with Chef and Partner Rita Dever
Jul 20, 2019

People always ask us, “Where do all of the new restaurant and dish ideas come from?” Meet…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
In Season: Sweet Corn
Aug 19, 2019

If, as the old saying goes, corn is "knee-high by the Fourth of July," by now, we're up to our ears…

read more >
Openings
Crab Cellar Serves Unlimited Crab & Burgers 5 Nights a Week
Aug 19, 2019

Crab and burgers are just a few of our favorite things so why not open an entire restaurant…

read more >
Openings
We’re Going to Disney! Beatrix is Coming to Disney Springs!
Aug 19, 2019

Sunny Florida, Beatrix is coming for you! Beatrix will open its fifth location in Disney Springs at…

read more >
How To
Hey D.C.! Here’s How (and Where) To Play Summer Scratch Off
Aug 19, 2019

Summer Scratch Off is here and we're giving our D.C. area Frequent Diner Club Members 88 days to…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch – Chicagoland
Aug 19, 2019

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in the Twin Cities
Aug 19, 2019

Happy Hour is even better when the drinks and food are half off! Treat yourself after work at one of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Enjoy Patio Season in Metro D.C. Area
Aug 19, 2019

It's that exciting time of year where you can finally eat outside! Enjoy dining al fresco at one of…

read more >
How To
This Summer, Grill Like A Chef. Here’s How
Aug 19, 2019

Executive Chef Justin Diglia of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in Chicago and his…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants in Chicago
Aug 19, 2019

At Lettuce Entertain You, we aim to make finding gluten-free friendly restaurants a lot easier. Many…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Cheers for Mocktails
Aug 18, 2019

Mocktails are the perfect way to enjoy Happy Hour without alcohol. Whether you don't like booze or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Few Of Our Favorite Vegan Dishes
Aug 18, 2019

With warm weather upon us, we're all about eating lighter and brighter - so why not try some of our…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your New Favorite Lunch Spot: Summer House Santa Monica’s Pop-Up Patio
Aug 17, 2019

Your lunch break just got a whole lot better with the addition of Summer House Santa Monica's lunch…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now