Growing Your Customer Base and Ensuring they Stay – Loyalty Programs and Foursquare

Have you ever had a customer service experience so rewarding, you wanted to go back to that establishment? What about an experience where the staff knew you on a first name basis?

Perhaps for vendors and food truck owners reading this, have you ever had a customer come up to you and say they are recommending their friends and family to your truck because of a promotion you offered?

If you have, that feeling must be pretty good. If you haven’t, don’t worry; in this post, we will discuss how to generate repeat business and create your own street food fanbase.

Last week, we asked two our Twitter followers two questions:
1.) Do any #foodtrucks have loyalty programs or issue coupons?
2.) We have a blog post coming up this Monday on #foodtrucks and #Foursquare. Any trucks out there using it right now?

We wanted to see how food trucks are rewarding loyal customers who come back to their carts on a repeat basis. After reading the responses we got, two things stuck out: the use of a loyalty programs (such as a punch card), and Foursquare, a location-based social media program. Here’s what some foodies and food truck vendors had to say:

For loyalty programs:

And these for Foursquare:


Loyalty programs and Foursquare check-ins are great ways for food truck vendors to give back to their customers while attracting more business. By offering deals to repeat customers, you build a relationship with them, and this then gets passed on to their friends network by word-of-mouth, social media, or because your loyal customer is bringing someone else to your cart.

As we saw from the Rickshaw Stop’s example above, it is quite easy to create a loyalty program. One example is to use punch cards, where if a customer purchases an item, they get their card stamped; after their card is stamped a number of times, they get a meal for free. While all this works for promotions and deals offline, how can these specials be taken online?

Enter Foursquare, a location-based social media app where users can check in to a location. Foursquare is particularly useful in this case because other users can see that this person is at a place, and conversations can take place as a result. For example, if you check in to XYZ Food Truck, your social media followers can see that check-in, and they can ask how the food there was among other questions.

Another benefit to Foursquare is the perks it provides to those who frequent a location (ie. your food truck). There is a special designation called the “mayor” for anyone who checks in to a location more than anyone else within a 60-day limit. Because only one person can be mayor at any given point in time, this position and title is quite admirable and is sought out by Foursquare users.

If you are looking for more information on  setting up your own Foursquare promotions, check out these links:

Mobile Cuisine: Don’t know how to set up Foursquare? It’s as easy as five quick steps

Mashable: Learn how food carts are incorporating Foursquare as part of their social media marketing strategies

Mashable: 5 examples of how food carts are using Foursquare to increase their customer base and to create repeat business

OneFortyPlus: Several ideas for how to create Foursquare deals