Anthony Dexmier

Anthony likes helping people reach their true potential. Being the victim of his own fears and insecurities in his own business, he has decided to help others create more opportunities.

Customer retention is much more important than customer acquisition. You can’t only rely on your ability to attract new customers. While they are obviously necessary to any business, they add a layer of uncertainty. The ability to retain customers, however, gives you a much more reliable business. Customer retention takes more than handing out gift vouchers though. Aside from their experience with you, which must be great, there are strategies you can use so they actually enjoy coming back to your place. This article will focus on gamification, which is undoubtedly one of the best ways to prompt your customers to visit again.

Why gamification is the key to customer retention


It’s very hard to find a smartphone that doesn’t have a game app on it. And if it doesn’t, the owner will generally tell you that games take too much of his time… In other words, games are addictive. The human mind loves them. This is why children learn better with games.  Even training agencies have been using gamification to facilitate learning.

Customers don’t generally visit a restaurant website several times. They google a restaurant to see what’s on the menu and then decide to go. That means your website traffic will likely have new prospects rather than returning customers. This is where there is room for improvement.

Sometimes you think people didn’t have a good experience with you because you never see them again. Maybe it’s just that they didn’t think about coming back. There are so many restaurants now that it’s hard to keep track of where you have been, and how it was.

That is why you absolutely must have a way to capture your customers’ information so you can contact them again. The problem is that people are used to companies asking for their details and they don’t particularly enjoy getting promotional emails anymore. This is where gamification can help. It can turn the process of leaving their information into a delightful experience, and it can turn gift vouchers into excuses for more gamification.

How to use gamification in your restaurant


Top businesses have used gamification to improve their customer retention for a while. And you don’t have to take things as far as MacDonald’s and their scratchable monopoly. In fact, gamification is not gaming. It is the process of using what the human brain strives on, namely, rewards, winning, and progressing.

The whole point of gamification is to make a boring process more enjoyable. Filling out a survey, entering your contact details are not things people generally enjoy. Neither do they delight in visiting a website. Using strategies from the gaming world in order to make these things significantly better is the point.

Loyalty points are the simplest form of gamification. The system of points and rewards is as old as time. That is probably why it still works. You can decide on a point system that eventually rewards them with a gift voucher or a discount. You can make them fill a survey in order to get a voucher. You can reward them for giving you a review on TripAdvisor. You can give them points depending on the size of their bills or special menu items that you want to sell on a certain day.The possibilities are endless.

Examples of restaurants using gamification

If you want to look at a company that uses gamification successfully, look no further than Starbucks. Their loyalty programme is a game with its own app. It also helps them build their tribe, as people who play the games will talk among themselves.

You don’t have to be Starbucks to integrate gamification though. The Italian restaurant chain Zizzi has changed their customer experience by including gamification.

Restaurants also elected to become Pokestops back when Pokemon Go was a relevant app. Now that people are past it, such practices may look pointless, but they probably made customers back then. Not everything you try is going to be a success anyway. If you give it a go, at least you know for sure.


In a world where companies fight for a few seconds of attention, gamification can help your business stand out from others. Customer loyalty takes the pressure off your business because it reduces the need to spend more money on advertising. You can start slowly with points and rewards and make it evolve as you see fit.