5 Customer Loyalty Best Practices to Borrow from Dating

Dating is hard! And often less than fruitful. Creating loyal restaurant customers can be tricky too. But for both dating and getting your customers to visit you on a consistent basis, there are a few rules of thumb that can help you garner success. Here are some tips we learned from the hundreds of restaurant brands we talk to on a daily basis:

You should make their lives easier and more fulfilled

A relationship is the end goal for many people who are dating. And once you find that perfect other, they should make your life better than it already is. Build an app so that reaching you is incredibly simple for your customers. By building easy in-store counter payment and enabling order ahead, you’re making it easier for customers to get your food quickly and easily. Who doesn’t love that?

It’s important to make them feel special

While you may be dating more than one person at a time, no one wants to feel like a runner-up. Your customers are the same way. By personalizing their experience (greeting them in-app using their name, sending marketing emails catered to them), you make your customers feel like they’re your one and only. That feeling goes a long way when it comes to restaurant loyalty.

The best results happen when you’re your authentic self

Pretending to be someone you’re not is a surefire way to make a date go south. You should always be yourself when getting to know someone new – and when you’re interfacing with customers. Customers are more loyal to restaurants with personality! Your brand needs to be clearly defined and infused in all aspects of your business including your app and digital assets. Customers should know it’s you from the very first moment.

People love to feel like you’re listening to them

Imagine that on the first date, you mention that you love Asian-Fusion food. Sparks fly and for the second date, they make a reservation at the hottest Asian-Fusion concept in the city. Major points, right?! Customers also want that level of attention to detail. With an app, you can learn about your customers’ preferences and with that data, send them intelligent offers to re-engage them or to celebrate a special event. For example, John loves the Roast Beef Sandwich; send him an offer for $2 off the Reuben on his birthday.

The best things happen over time

Having experiences together (remember when your car broke down on the road trip or when you cooked your first meal together?) is the best way to form a bond. Incentivizing customers to stick with you by implementing a loyalty program is the same. Whether customers can earn progress toward achieving status levels or earn a reward after a certain amount of spend, creating a long-term connection with events along the way is a guaranteed way to thrive.

Campaigns are another way to keep your customers’ attention and build restaurant loyalty. Download our Waterfall Campaign Case study below:


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Jackie Cooke

Jackie Cooke

Jacqueline Cooke is the Digital Content Marketing Manager at LevelUp. She's a firm believer in the power of avocado toast and chocolate chip banana pancakes. When she’s not trying out LevelUp partner restaurants (hello, Dig Inn!) you can find her dreaming up travel plans, trying out a new workout class or listening to her laundry list of podcasts. Read about her latest antics at jacquelinecooke.com

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