So you see some advantage in the process of creating an “email club membership” for your restaurant but don’t know where to start. To start you need to understand that the power of the email club membership is going to be realized only if you get the “trust and value” from the sign-up to the membership.
What does it take?
First, what are the value of a raving fan and his/her personal email address being added to your restaurant’s email database? To get to the heart of the offer you need first understand the value of the personal email address and more importantly the value of the owner opening your email sequences. Do you need to establish why they should open your emails before they sign up?
Why should they sign up?
This is where you need a powerful reason for the local customer to sign up for your email membership. Example: A chance to win a $100.00 food voucher is not a very compelling reason to get your customer to sign up. Remember your customer hold their personal email address in very high regard and don’t sign up to email lists at every chance to win offer.
What’s the offer?
Before answering that question we first need to understand why we need their email address in the first place? If you are going to treat every sign up as a special customer and offer special deals through email then you need to make that offer right out of the gate. If you want to establish a relationship with the local customer then you need to establish how you are going to do this in the beginning before they sign up.
What does it Cost?
With conventional advertising in the newspaper, on radio, in magazines and in direct mail the cost is usually very expensive with advertising waste in the 40 to 50% rate. With the VIP club you are just using grassroots and personally asking each new member to join. This is by invitation only.
Here are the Numbers
If you have just 10 VIP members and you can increase their purchases from 4 a month to 12 per month with a base price of $25.00 per meal. More on how to increase below as they turn to a “Raving Fan”. This kind of program is not that hard to implement but is very profitable.
At 25 VIP members your money coming in has tripled with not much more expense.
At the maximum membership of 100 members you are making enough money to compensate for all expenses and be able to treat these Club members with very special care.
Simple Landing Page with Auto-Responder
With a maximum of just 100 subscribers the cost for the auto-responder set up is at under $100 per month with a professional manager. The privilege custom Biz Cards are at $20.00 per member with a 20% gift card as their gift to people wanting to join your restaurant.
Remember that all offers are sent via email so there are no printing of flyers, menus, or any other print material than the biz cards. To advertise this VIP club have a display set up behind the register and you offer a TYFYB gift to all regular customers by using these custom VIP business cards. All returning customers can get 20% off the table check if they use one of these VIP biz cards. This is not a DISCOUNT it’s a TYFYB Gift. See below.
Take Home Dessert 20% OFF
Another area that you can begin to grow with little or no effort is the take-home dessert. This needs to be a take-home dessert as if they eat in the dessert it will affect your table turns throughout the night. If they are eating a $10.00 dessert and taking an extra 20 minutes it will affect the number of people that you can serve during the night.
What if you could add $7.50 to the bottom line without taking the time up at the tables. In most cases, the people are already full of the meal but maybe they would be interested in taking home their favorite dessert. What are the numbers to add $7.50 per meal to the bill? We just added $10,800 to the bottom line by just offering the take-home dessert.
Professional PPT Video ($250.00)
If you are going to the effort of getting your best customers to join your VIP Club you need to be committed to the process. This is an example of what could be used as a video menu with the offer of a 40 to 50% off for joining. Make sure that this is a special club that has limited availability. This is for no more than 100 clients. See below.
What’s Next? Example Offer & Rewards
Welcome to our email membership program. We are looking for clients that visit our restaurant regularly and want to establish a relationship and receive special deals from us, your favorite restaurant.
We reward you our special client based upon two criteria, 1) your frequency of joining us for a meal, and 2) your ability to bring friends and relatives to our restaurant.
To sign up to the autoresponder and as a thank, you gift we first offer a 50% off coupon for every email sign up. Use the business card sign up form to add your best email address then submit it to your server.
Once signed up to the email membership you will receive a double opt-in form with the join our list click-through link. After you click the join link your email account will then be sent a thank you email with the 50% discount email.
Special Club with Privileges
This is a special club membership that comes with privileges like a custom biz card with a 20% gift card attached. The limited spacing of 100 members and by invitation only. See Below.
Next, there should be special events that are used to showcase new menu items. For these events, they are scheduled after 7 pm and are free food programs with a voting process.
A Tie to the community
In today’s world, we are finding that the local food bank is being strained to the maximum and is in need of food. If it’s possible the restaurant should tie into programs that are designed to support these important programs.
What is the frequency?
With every discount offer comes some kind of action and reward. So in order to get a special discount then the client needs to visit on some form of regular visits. Here is what I mean; the email discount has an expiry date which means that to get a 25% off your meal you need to join before the end of the week or on and before a date.
To give the discount some leeway the offer is transferable which means if the email club member can’t make the meal deal date they then can offer the deal to a friend or relative. This might have some restrictions when transferred which then means one discount per table for people not an email club member. You are encouraging everyone to join the email club membership within the member’s circle of influence.
What’s the math?
If you can gain frequency then the offer for a discount is of value to both you and the membership. If currently your list is visiting the restaurant once every 6 weeks and they purchase $40.00 per table that is a purchase of 52 weeks divided by 6 weeks for 8.66 visits times $40.00 = $346.40 for the year.
If you could get the client to visit the restaurant every 2 weeks at a discount of 20% per visit then they would be paying the following: 26 weeks times $32.00 = $832.00 for the year.
With the discount offer, you have now more than doubled the total sale to your email club membership. If you could get them to join every week then the numbers are as follows: 52 times $30.00 instead of $40.00 = $1,560.00 for the year.
Bring a friend’s help?
For every friend that they bring into the restaurant the deal is as follows: at a two-week interval its 26 weeks times $64.00 = $1,664.00 and if you get them to come in weekly the numbers are as follows: 52 times $64.00 = $3,328.00. See the power of the numbers.
The membership levels?
Now not everyone signed up is going to increase their frequency but for those that increase should be rewarded and recognized and a special client. I call these weekly visitors my “Raving Fans” and with that designation, we have a series of rewards. Not all rewards need to cost money either as seen above: Give the raving fan an invitation biz card that is used to get more clients to the restaurant.