#235: Subscriptions Driving Restaurant Loyalty in South Africa

As one of the most exciting loyalty markets in the world, South Africa boasts plenty of compelling concepts and innovative ideas – and this summary show discusses one of the most exciting to date!

Ros Netto, Customer, CRM & Loyalty Specialist and Head of Customer Care for Real Foods Group in South Africa, shares her insights from the launch of South Africa’s first restaurant and fast-casual dining subscription program for their market-leading chain called Kauai.

Listen to learn some of the challenges and solutions they learned in this short summary episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty.

Show Notes:
  1. Ros Netto
  2. Real Foods Group
  3. Kauai
  4. #90: Subscription Innovation Driving Restaurant Loyalty in South Africa

Audio Transcript


Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas and if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world. 


This episode is sponsored by Epsilon, Today I’m delighted to announce a unique opportunity for one lucky listener of Let’s Talk Loyalty to enjoy a complimentary workshop with the loyalty experts at Epsilon. One brand every month, we’ll have the chance for a unique, independent Loyalty Lab, a review of your loyalty program, where Epsilon will share their expert ideas, how to drive your program’s performance to a whole new level.


This workshop is a powerful way for you to measure and then increase the return on your investment in your loyalty program. So to apply, head over, to letstalkloyalty.com/epsilon and enter your details. 


Hello, and welcome to this week’s short episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. When I had a wonderful conversation with a South African loyalty industry expert Ros Netto. 


Ross started our conversation by sharing with us, her incredible career and the knowledge that she gained working for over a decade with the leading loyalty marketing agency in the country, called Truth.


After that time, Ross decided it was a great opportunity to bring her expertise to the client-side of the industry. And when we spoke in March 2021, she was thrilled to tell me she had joined a company called Real Foods as the customer CRM and Loyalty Specialist for this multi-brand company. We had a conversation, firstly, discussing the importance and challenges of convincing customers to join and engage in our loyalty programs. And Ross reminded us that customers who don’t redeem the points they’ve earned are 2.3 times more likely to defect than those who do redeem.


We also agreed that it’s our job to make it easy for customers to participate, and Ros shared with us some great ideas, how to make the customer journey seamless and frictionless, particularly when it comes to that redemption process. I think in the past, we’ve seen many brands whose loyalty programs have become quite complicated over time. So when that happens, inevitably customers lose interest and not just in the loyalty program, but often in the brand itself as well. Most importantly, in this episode, Ros shared with us, her insights from launching a subscription-based program for their Kauai brands, mainly at the time a program for their super-popular smoothies and coffee.


Now, most loyalty professionals realize how popular subscription models are becoming for business growth. And we also know there’s more and more customer demand for them around the world, but of course, it’s not easy to create huge, extra value for customers without diluting your margins and profits. Ros shared with us some wonderful insights around how they have been tackling those issues and making sure the business benefits in a measurable and profitable way from that subscription program with ideas such as cross-selling other products. 


Now, of course, as loyalty professionals, subscriptions can be an incredible way to build brand loyalty within your customer base. Any customer with a coffee subscription, for example, is highly unlikely to go anywhere else for their coffee, even if it happened to be more convenient for them on any particular day, clearly, the goal and the potential for a subscription program is to earn 100% of your customer’s wallet in your category. So if your brand has been thinking about starting a subscription-based loyalty program, you will love this episode and you should definitely give it a listen and you can find the full interview at letstalkloyalty.com/90. That’s it for today’s short summary. Otherwise, we have a really exciting week ahead, firstly, with a highly unusual loyalty program tomorrow, which is for a well-known US-based bridal store, totally unexpected, and a fascinating success story. Then on Thursday, we have another great episode which features Del Taco and some wonderful insights from their loyalty program, which is called Del Yeah! Rewards. I’m thrilled to continue to be joined by guests and clients from such innovative brands that we all know and love as consumers. And now thanks to them coming on the show. We know there was loyalty leaders as well.


So thanks so much for listening and I look forward to sharing our episodes of the next two days with David’s Bridal stores and Del Taco. Bye for now. 


This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer, The world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights, and research. The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 245 executives in 27 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org. 


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