Enhancing the Dining Experience: Restaurant Incentives for Customers

As a foodie, there’s nothing like having a memorable dining experience. And as a restaurant owner or manager, creating that experience is the goal and the key to success. One way to enhance the dining experience is to offer incentives for customers.

In this post, we dig deeper into restaurant incentives for customers and some creative ideas for incentivizing dining experiences. Keep reading to discover more!

What are Restaurant Incentives for Customers?

5-star smiley face
5-star smiley face

Restaurant incentives are rewards or perks given to customers to encourage them to visit a restaurant or to keep coming back.

These incentives can take many forms, such as discounts on meals, free drinks or desserts with a purchase, loyalty programs that offer points or rewards for frequent visits, or special promotions and events.

These incentives aim to attract new customers, retain existing ones, and increase overall sales.

By providing extra value to customers, restaurants can create a more positive dining experience and build a loyal customer base.

Best Restaurant Incentive Ideas

To help inspire you, we have compiled a list of the best incentive ideas for restaurants, from discounts to referral programs. Read on!

Free Appetizer on Your 10th Visit

What are the most popular Persian appetizers? One of them is Kashk Bademjan
Persian appetizer Kashk Bademjan

Lure customers to keep returning by offering them specials on their nth visit, such as a free appetizer on their 10th visit.

This type of customer loyalty program incentivizes customers to return and helps restaurants track repeat business and build a loyal customer base.

By providing a reward after a certain number of visits, customers feel valued and appreciated, which can lead to positive word-of-mouth referrals and social media buzz.

Additionally, offering a free appetizer allows customers to try new menu items they may not have ordered otherwise, leading to increased sales and potential upselling opportunities.

Offer Discounts on Certain Days of the Week

Food Promo Displayed In Front of The Restaurant
Food Promo Displayed In Front of The Restaurant

Help drive your restaurant during slow periods by offering discounts on certain days of the week. This way, you’ll attract more customers who may not have otherwise dined out on those days.

For example, a restaurant could offer a discount on Tuesday nights to encourage customers to dine out mid-week. This type of incentive can also help to create a sense of urgency for customers, as they know they need to take advantage of the deal before it ends.

In addition, this incentive can also help restaurants spread demand throughout the week, reducing the strain on busy weekend services.

Points-Based Rewards

Seller Collecting Payment
Seller Collecting Payment

Consider giving point-based rewards allowing customers to earn points for every purchase. Customers can then redeem these loyalty points for rewards such as free meals, drinks, desserts, or other exclusive offers.

By offering points-based rewards, restaurants can incentivize customers to return frequently and increase their overall spending. This type of loyalty program also helps to build a relationship between the restaurant and the repeat customers.

This kind of reward is also highly customizable, allowing restaurants to tailor the program to their specific needs and target different customer segments.

For example, a fine-dining restaurant could offer exclusive perks, while a fast-casual chain may offer rewards that can be used across multiple locations.

Free Delivery

Delivery Man Smiles Happily
Delivery Man Smiles Happily

With the rise of third-party delivery services these days, the popularity of free delivery incentives from restaurants allures customers more.

This type of incentive can be particularly effective during periods of high demand, such as holidays or weekends, when customers are more likely to order food for delivery instead of dining out.

By offering free delivery, restaurants can attract more customers who may not have otherwise ordered from them due to overly-priced delivery fees.

Free Branded Tote Bag, Hat, or Coozie

A stylish man holding two paper bags with branded freebies from a restaurant
A stylish man holding two paper bags with branded freebies from a restaurant

Customers love freebies, especially from a branded brand, as it creates a sense of exclusivity for them.

By offering unique, branded items as rewards, restaurants can create a buzz around their business and incentivize customers to return to collect the full set of items.

Additionally, offering branded merchandise can help foster a sense of community among customers, as they are united by their shared love of the restaurant and its brand.

These tangible items can be distributed in various ways, such as during special events, social media promotions, or as part of a loyalty program.

Create an Exclusive Restaurant VIP Program

A group of people in a restaurant's VIP program
A group of people in a restaurant’s VIP program

Reward customers who dine in your restaurant frequently or spend a certain amount of money with an exclusive VIP program.

By offering exclusive perks and benefits such as priority seating, complimentary drinks, valet parking, or discounts, restaurants can incentivize customers to return and spend more money.

This program helps cultivate a sense of exclusivity and status for loyal customers, as they are part of a select group of diners who receive special treatment.

Moreover, VIP programs can be used as a marketing tool to attract new customers, as customers who aspire to join the program may be motivated to dine with the restaurant more frequently to qualify.

Secret Menu

Wooden Restaurant Menu Design
Restaurant Menu Design

If you’re familiar with Starbucks‘ “secret recipe” or Chipotle’s secret menu, it means that their marketing strategy succeeded—and you can adopt it, too!

A secret menu is a selection of items not listed on the regular menu, which can only be accessed by customers who know about them or are in the know.

In fact, offering a secret menu is a restaurant incentive idea that can create a sense of exclusivity and excitement for customers.

This incentive can be particularly effective for younger customers who value unique and interesting experiences and are likely to share their discoveries on social media accounts—free marketing, again!

Referral Programs

Two women sitting at the table of a bar and talking to the waiter about the referral program
Two women sitting at the table of a bar and talking to the waiter about the referral program

Take advantage of your customers’ word-of-mouth skills by offering a referral program that rewards customers for referring their friends and family to the restaurant.

You can offer discounts, free meals, or other incentives to customers who refer new diners to your place.

By incentivizing customers to refer their close ones, restaurants can increase their customer base and generate new business.

You can promote the program through social media, email marketing, or in-store signage, making it easy for customers to participate and share their experiences with others.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we create a restaurant loyalty program?

To create a restaurant loyalty program, define your goals, identify your target customers, choose a program structure, determine rewards, implement a user-friendly system, promote the program, train staff, monitor data, and adapt as needed for success.

What are the benefits of a loyalty program?

Loyalty programs provide businesses with increased customer retention, higher spending, engagement, referrals, data insights, competitive advantage, personalized experiences, feedback, upselling opportunities, and long-term customer relationships.

Do restaurant loyalty programs work?

Yes, restaurant loyalty programs do work. It can effectively increase customer retention, boost spending, and generate positive referrals when well-designed and executed.


In conclusion, restaurant incentives for customers are a fantastic way to enhance the dining experience. Whether offering free delivery, branded merchandise, secret menus, referral programs, or VIP programs, restaurants can create a sense of exclusivity and excitement that keeps customers coming back for more.

Offering these incentives not only helps to increase revenue and attract new customers but it also fosters brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth advertising. So why not try implementing some restaurant incentives today and see how they can help take your business to the next level?

And if you’re looking for more tips on improving your restaurant’s marketing strategy, check out SEO for Restaurants. Thanks for reading, and happy dining!

Andrea Abbondanza

Andrea Abbondanza, born in Milan (Italy) and now a proud Australian citizen, is a passionate food lover and the dynamic CEO of Seoforestaurants.com. With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes around the world elevate their online presence. His journey from Italy to Australia has infused his work with a unique blend of European flair and Aussie charm, making him a go-to resource for cafes and restaurants looking to elevate their digital presence and grow their businesses.

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Seo for Restaurants is a boutique agency specialised in Google Business Management, SEO and Local SEO for restaurants and Cafes.

What can we do for you?

  • Be on top of Google in your local area
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Andrea Abbondanza is a passionate food lover and the CEO of Seo for Restaurants. With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes worldwide elevate their online presence and increase

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