Coming back for more: how to drive return visits in your QSR

Coming back for more: how to drive return visits in your QSR

It is estimated that the cost of acquiring a new customer constitutes  4 to 8 times the cost of retaining one. At the same time, existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and they spend on average 31% more then the new customersSo the question is not why customer loyalty is important but rather, what makes a customer come back?

What drives customer loyalty?

A recent, study by Rare, had some very interesting insights. They reveal that loyalty to a brand is based primarily on customer’s emotions. While general purchases are driven by price (81%), quality (80%) and convenience (55%), loyalty is about likeability (86%) and trust at 83%.

2016 Customer Loyalty Statistics Study showed that fun is an important loyalty driver, especially with younger consumers, with 64% Generation K respondents listing it as a top priority, and Millennials and Generation X not far behind with 60% and 55% respectively.

So, in the end, it all comes down to the importance of positive emotions and fun customer experiences. To keep customers coming back QSR and fast-casual restaurants must be: likeable, trustworthy­, fun and come with a great loyalty program to boot. But how can you accomplish all this? Gamified experiences to the rescue!

How can Gamification On-Location drive repeat visits?

Turn negative experience into an opportunity for engagement

According to a recent survey, customers in fast food restaurants begin to grow frustrated after only 3 minutes of wait time. Worse, with every additional minute they are made to wait, the chance of a walkaway grows by astounding 25%. So if your wait time is even 6-7 minutes, you are in serious trouble.

If unavoidable waiting time is such a negative factor for customer experience, what can be done about it? On-location gamified experiences  bring fun into the waiting time, turning negative experience into positive one! In a video below, see how Domino’s Pizza in Leiden, Netherlands put gamified experiences into action.


Use waiting time to connect with your customers.  

A recent Pew Research Center, found that 77% of Americans are using their smartphones to avoid boredom during a queue. The majority of patrons will be playing a game, but you can make sure that they play your game that specifically relates to your product or brand. Gamified experiences are an easy way to actively engage your customers in a way they will actually enjoy.

Carl’s Jr. has launched an on-location gamification in its restaurants in Turkey, in collaboration with Coca-Cola to engage customers waiting in line and to improve overall customer experience. The result? People actually enjoyed waiting in line!

Carl's Jr Gamified Activation generates repeat visits

Improve Customer Experience

By 2020, customer experience will become the key brand differentiator, not price or a product. Gamified experiences work wonders when it comes to creating positive customer experiences by giving what consumers a looking for: a great experience that is fun and will elicit an emotional response.

Drive consumers to action

Gamification has been proven to be a great tool to drive consumer behaviour, and on-location gamification is no different. You can drive consumers to a certain action in a fun, interactive and non invasive way, turning the negative “upsell” experience into a game.

We have discovered, that coupons earned by customers through gamified experiences have a very high redemption rate, making it a great tool for promoting new products and offerings.

 Differentiate from competition

Branded casual games create a unique experience that distinguishes you from the competitors. And the competition is fierce! QSRs need all their ammunition to beat their peers in the fight for consumers’ attention.

Generate Return Visits

By using game mechanics and creating positive customer experiences you can drive visit frequency and motivate consumers to come back in order to be able to play the game again. You can set up your gamification experience to have additional features or bonuses when played in-store, motivating players to return.

For example, McDonald’s succeeded in increasing their product sales and visit frequency by introducing a gamification concepts derived from the classic game of Monopoly.

Boost loyalty programs

One survey showed 54 percent of loyalty memberships are inactive, with most becoming inactive within the first year. Using gamification to simultaneously offer value and secure engagement is a great way to boost a loyalty program your restaurant already has, to reconnect with the existing members and to attract new memberships.

In-store games can be set up in a way that they boost existing loyalty programs. For instance,  in order to redeem the points won in the game for a prize, a loyalty program membership or a certain action on a social media can be required.

For more information about how on-location gamified experiences can generate return visits and boost loyalty in your QSR or fast-casual restaurant, sign up to our blog!

Dotan Kopolovich

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By Daniele Zedda • 18 February


By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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