Well, at the risk of being chastised for bringing this up, I admit that I belong to several dining club establishments (not Burger Kind or KFC) that charge a nominal fee ($50) to get money back when dining there. Call me crazy, shoeman1000 and others, but economically--given the net present value of money, to which we all subscribe, even if it seems to make no sense, this works for Mrs. Anadyr and moi.
Now the National Restaurant Association, an association of restaurants (who knew?) commissioned a study to determine if paying making it better as far as customer loyalty goes. Here is an executive summary of that study.
So are you willing to pay cash money to belong to a loyalty program?
Of course if you get something back in return!
If it's for "guaranteed reservations on busy days, discounts on certain menu items, and skip-the-line privileges to get a table" then probably not. I have received many great deals with living social, groupon and local coupons that I don't need a loyalty card that is going to cost money. Maybe this would work better in a big city?
whether airlines, hotels, retail or restaurants they all want loyalty that is repeat business. If it is free why not be in maybe retail give you say 5-10% back once you achieve a certain dollar volume. Many times with Marriott I looked for hotels and might pay a little more and go a little further to stay at Marriott's because Platinum got me points but more important concierge. With restaurants I do like variety so would join if it is like retail after spending a certain amount I get something but likely wouldn't pay for it Just my two cents
Which ones do you belong to? I was in Las Vegas and a restaurant server talked me into signing up for Lettuce Entertain You (made sense when I did it--pay one-time $10 fee for membership and get $10 back on your next dining experience). I decided to do it because I had been to a few of the restaurants on the list in the past and I figured I may end up there again in the future.
I pay for an AMC movie card--I make my money back on that one. I also have an Arclight movie card--I'm not sure if I am going to make my money back on that one. Both of these movie loyalty cards require an annual subscription.
I would pay to participate in the Marriott Rewards program. If they ever do charge a fee, hopefully it will be like the credit card where the annual fee is covered by an immediate freebie (like the free annual category 5 certificate with the Marriott Rewards card).
I like that 'eat free' stuff. I belong to a deal with Club Corp that costs me $50 per month. But, for the $50 I get to eat free in top shelf restaurants all over the country and beyond. Places like the Columbia Tower Room on the 76th floor of the Columbia Tower in Seattle, The Citrus Room in Orlando, The Trophy Room in Ft Lauderdale, The Buckhead Club in Atlanta, The Symphony Tower Club in San Diego, The City Clubs in LA and DC, The Jockey Club in NYC and many more. Even better is I get to play free golf at great golf courses all over the country (like where the pros play tournaments...just not when the tournament is going on). Even better...er is that it didn't cost me a dime to join Club Corp because my Club in FL teamed up with their program and the first 50 members could get into Club Corp for free!
For the $600 it cost us last year I'll bet we had 7 or 8 thousand of free food and golf! Can't shake a stick at that!
"That percentage grows to 51% when millennials are asked how likely they would be to pay to join a program with such features." This struck me the most from the article, anadyr. Being a millennial myself, I find it interesting that they are more likely to PAY for a loyalty program. I always thought we wanted everything for free .
Well ANSAA free is relative, the cost of a loyalty program must be factored into the cost of a service or item that we buy. Look at Amazon for example, to get faster shipping millions of us pay 79 and now 99 dollars per year for Prime membership. Hertz floated a trial baloon to get folks into to highest teir for 1200 dollars a year (I think that one was a dud). My restaurant experience pays me back a tad and it also keeps me coming back to the venues that have it. So, I hope that paying something gets me something.
You are 100% correct, anadyr. I do pay for a few loyalty programs myself. I am glad to see that so many people see the benefits of the programs the way you do!
I Would certainly pay a small amount to join a loyalty club if it produced a clear benefit that I could easily utilise. For instance I did consider joining IHG Ambassador as I had a few Intercontinental stays coming up and Ambassador membership comes with an annual certificate for a BOGOF. Redeeming the certificate alone would more than cover the joining cost, and I'd see the stay benefits which for IHG Ambassador are pretty good. I eventually decided against it as the contract fell through...