Benefits of a performance-based digital marketing strategy for restaurants

Post by
The Kard Team
Benefits of a performance-based digital marketing strategy for restaurants

We've all been there. You go to a coffee shop, bakery, or cafe, and the cashier pulls out their frequent buyer card with an offer for free food after ten purchases. They punch your purchase onto it using a hole punch they keep in their left pocket, ready to use on unsuspecting customers nearby. "Nine more purchases, and then you get this delicious chocolate chip cookie for free!"

You smile, tuck the card into the back of your wallet, and completely forget about it on your next visit. Sound familiar? It's a common scenario that many restaurant operators are still clinging to — woefully outdated customer loyalty and rewards program models. 

Benefits of a performance-based digital marketing program (CLOs)

Before we dig into how performance-based digital marketing programs work, it's worth taking a step back to consider what the benefits are for your restaurant:

  • Frictionless POS experience
  • Pay-for-Performance model
  • Perceived discounting

Frictionless at POS

Promo codes and paper/digital coupons have been moderately successful at increasing sales and average order value. They have been a tried-and-true vehicle for generating brand loyalty and improving overall revenue. However, the benefit of adding the offer directly to a debit or credit is that it's completely hassle-free. Customers do not have to cut or print coupons. There is no need to load coupon apps to get the rewards, and the consumer does not have to mail in rebates. With card-linked offers, restaurants still get all of the incredible benefits of coupons, but it's an effortless process for the customer at checkout.


Digital ad spending now exceeds traditional ad spend, but the complexities of digital advertising have introduced a host of unforeseen issues, including fraud and problematic programmatic buys. The difficulty in tracking effectiveness for online purchases is especially troublesome because of the difficulty in telling which ads are actually impacting retail sales rates. However, these performance-based digital marketing programs offer an alternative that solves these issues by using precise customer data and offers tailored specifically to each person's preferences without any waste from generic marketing campaigns that don't work with individual shoppers' needs.

Perceived Discounting

As it turns out, most restaurants don't like the idea of giving discounts to customers, as it can work against the brand by discounting their image. Instead, promotions associated with one’s debit or credit card tie the discount to the banking environment while still incentivizing the desired outcome for a restaurant: more loyal customers. These rewards are targeted, aimed at capturing new customers and increasing frequency from current guests. Customers pay full price at the point of sale and are rewarded by their bank or debit card partner after making a transaction.

As consumers shift away from coupons and punch cards toward mobile wallet payments, loyalty-enabled credit-debit cards, the power of a performance-based marketing program can build customer loyalty for restaurants—while also providing valuable rewards to customers. Learn how Kard can help shape your restaurant's marketing strategy and save you time and money.

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