Prestons Restaurant/Lounge is located in downtown Vancouver’s business district. It features West Coast cuisine that is served up with a touch of Mediterranean and Asian flair in a sophisticated and modern atmosphere.
Located within the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, Presons sees a great deal of volume from both business and leisure clientele. Evenings and weekends, on the other hand, have left the restaurant with extra capacity. Adding to the daytime competition, the area is known for its many restaurants and gourmet food trucks that often diverts guests from dining in the hotel.
The challenge, Prestons’ management faced was to find a way to bring that lunchtime business crowd back during after-work hours and on weekends.
Prestons was approached by RewardLoop to take part in a test pilot of its new mobile loyalty program. RewardLoop is a Vancouver-based tech startup that offers a mobile loyalty platform and network that allowed Prestons to reward customers based on their spend on each transaction by tapping into data from Prestons existing POS system.
The system was only installed on the main POS station during the trial. The station that was installed handles about 60% of Prestons’ daily transactions. It involved a simple connection of a universal POS adaptor, a simple device that sits in-line between the POS system and the receipt printer to “listen in” on the data stream. The adaptor reads each line of the receipt and uses the Subtotal to insert a unique QR Code into the bill footer that customers scan to collect and redeem rewards defined by Prestons.
The RewardLoop program is essentially a virtual “stamp card” that is accessed by customers through their Smartphone. The customer collects stamps by using any QR reader to scan the QR Code at the bottom of their receipt from each visit. Because sign-up and stamp collection are entirely self-serve, staff and service aren’t slowed down.
Redemption of rewards is just as simple. To redeem a reward, the customer uses their QR reader to scan a redemption QR code, and is then asked to verify that they want to redeem their reward. Once they verify, a transaction number comes up on their phone. The server matches this code to their paper copy, and the transaction has been completed in the same amount of time as a cash or debit transaction.
In the 11 month span after the initial installation in August 2011, the most frequent customer visited Prestons more than 200 times and spent in excess of $9,600 since signing up during the first week of the program. The top 10 customers have collectively spent more than $26,000 and visited more than 600 times. Prior to implementing its mobile rewards program, Prestons’ average spend per visit was $19. Average spend per visit among Prestons rewards program members is currently around $37.
By rewarding customers for how much they spend, Prestons has found a way to encourage loyal clients to come back more often and to spend more when they do. RewardLoop has allowed Prestons to do this with a secure and measurable system that does not affect the speed of customer service or the workflow for staff.
The RewardLoop program also enables Prestons to capture e-mails from hundreds of regular customers, which is not an insignificant bonus considering that many of Prestons customers are transient visitors staying in the hotel.
With so many dining options for customers in the area, Prestons recognizes that incentivizing and rewarding customers for being loyal is a great way to make sure customers keep choosing them. Being able to measure and track the results makes it that much more valuable.
Ashley Martell is the restaurant manager at Prestons.