Loyalty programs encourage recurring business in a mutually beneficial way that customers broadly love. For them, it feels like they’re getting something for nothing except being a regular face at a particular place of business. Owners, meanwhile, enjoy the proven benefits of having their clientele carry around reminders to visit their business.
So how about food truck loyalty programs? Are the same strategies that work in brick-and-mortar businesses applicable to the inherently mobile nature of food trucks? Let’s look at several loyalty programs that restaurants often use and see whether food trucks can benefit as well.
Types of Loyalty Programs for Food Trucks
Here are four examples of loyalty programs for food trucks that have worked well:
Punch cards are the classic example of a loyalty program that encourages repeat business in situations where a customer may have gone with a competitor otherwise. While they aren’t the most modern take on incentivizing repeat visits, they continue to pop up because they work. For an updated spin on the concept, an app with reminders can stand in for the physical punch card. The basic method: Spend X dollars, get a punch, then reach X amount of punches to enjoy a gift, like a free drink.
Buy X, Get 1 Free
A great way to encourage both customer loyalty, and to target a particular high-margin item, is giving away a free item after a certain threshold of purchases. This works differently from the standard punch card system because it targets specific menu items and could potentially provide a benefit during a single visit.
Best applied with a tracking app, a points system is a bit more complex and often gamified. Each menu item is worth a different number of points and customers can be cash points in for select items with a purchase. This is sometimes associated with loss leader tactics, but you can also use it as a profit-positive method if the right menu items are part of the incentives program.
This approach to rewards incentivizes visits over a longer period. For example, one to four visits a year gets customers a free drink. When they pass that threshold, a new bracket rewards the next several visits in the same calendar year. For instance, htting five to eight visits a year, the customer might then earn a free side.
Are Food Truck Loyalty Programs Effective?
The above programs have proven success in the restaurant space. For food truck loyalty programs, they might not always work. If your truck frequently goes to the same spots, the above programs can be used without much adjustment compared to a traditional, stationary restaurant.
Adjustments are likely in order if your food truck moves around often or mostly spends time at festivals and events with out-of-town guests. Digital loyalty programs, with effective and easy-to-use apps, become even more important. Collaborations with other food truck owners in the region can help as well, allowing your clientele to track your truck as it moves around the area.
Get Repeat Customers With Food Truck Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs can greatly benefit food trucks looking to generate repeat foot traffic. When thoughtfully crafted to match your food truck’s unique brand, these help show your customers your appreciation.
Legion Food Trucks can help you stand out from competitors and equip you with the right technology to serve your customers. Interested in learning more about digital marketing tactics for a successful food truck? Contact us to leverage our years of collective experience in developing marketing strategies in this vibrant, unique food service niche.