If you own or run a restaurant, you may be wondering whether or not you will benefit from a referral program. During this time, when every field is affected by the pandemic, more so those in the food and hospitality industry, every bit of marketing helps.

A few facts about word-of-mouth marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing has been around perhaps since the very first business had opened. Even before advertising and digital marketing concepts were born, customers relied on the recommendations of people they trusted. For sure, if a friend or a family member raves about a restaurant, you would likely think you’d have to try it as soon as possible, right?

Even at this point, you probably already know that a referral program would benefit your food business. But if you need more convincing, read on and find out just how powerful customer referrals can be:

Numbers Don’t Lie

You see, the benefits of a word-of-mouth marketing strategy are not just imagined. The following numbers should tell you that it does play a significant role in the success of businesses, especially restaurants:

  • 92% of consumers say that they trust referrals from friends or other people they know.
  • According to Nielsen, people are four times more likely to buy when a friend refers to it.
  • 74% of consumers say word-of-mouth is a key influence in their purchasing decision.
  • 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase because of social media referrals.
Word of Mouth Marketing Statistics

As you can see, it pays to nurture your relationship with your loyal customers so that they will be encouraged to refer other people they know to your restaurant. With this, you can ensure your customers remain loyal by providing not only fantastic food but also excellent customer service and even small rewards – you can’t underestimate the power of free desserts!

Benefits of a Referral Program for Your Restaurant

1. You get higher lifetime value customers. These are customers who contribute higher margins to your restaurant per year than other customers. Loyal customers are much better than an influencer is and may be more effective in getting new business for you!

The main reason for it is that when they hear about your restaurant from a friend, they’re more likely to follow their friend’s recommendations and try out your restaurant. So they’ll be more likely to come back again and bring in new friends. So it’s an endless opportunity for growth depending on the experience they have at your restaurant and the power of word of mouth recommendations.

2. It boosts customer retention. When you have a referral program, you are more likely to get repeat customers. But how is this so? Imagine if your already favorite restaurant rewards you with a free slice of cake or a cup of coffee whenever you bring in a new customer. That’s going to be an additional reason for you to stay loyal to that restaurant! By adding cash rewards, you’ll incentivize your customers to bring in more and more people that will bring in their friends, since there’s a reward involved. With our solution, you can even send incentives in form of coupons and free meals that will remind them to pay you another visit.

3. It boosts brand awareness. Referral programs can attract more new customers and create a buzz around your restaurant’s name and even expand your reach. When you get loyal customers through your referral programs, they are likely to talk about your restaurant on their social media! So you’ll not only gain new customers but a new audience on your social channels, new posts, and other mentions that will give you that social proof all small businesses crave.

Referral Programs Don’t Run on Their Own

Perhaps a referral program is an easy and convenient way to gain new and loyal customers, but know that this doesn’t happen in an instant. Also, you’ll have to make sure that what you offer is desirable to your customers. Because your customers are also busy people, they might need regular reminders that referring people to your restaurant will be rewarding for them as well!

Friends referring restaurants through text

If starting a referral program for your restaurant is easy with btwn, you have to spread the word about it in order to gain loyal customers that will bring in more customers, and eventually become your ‘sales’ people.


The best referral programs can take restaurants to new heights. Your loyal customers are already doing your marketing for you by telling their family and friends, so you better make sure that you are giving their efforts a well-deserved reward. Having an actual referral program for your restaurant can make your existing customers feel how much you value them, which will further encourage them to recommend your restaurant to others!

If you are ready to get an excellent referral program started for your restaurant, btwn app can be your partner. Ours is among the best referral apps you can find today that your customers will surely love and appreciate. Contact us today to find out how our btwn app works!

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