WHAT’S THE REAL COST OF LABOUR IN HOSPITALITY?

The UK hospitality industry is facing pressure from all sides, what with increases in business rates, rents, price inflation on produce and increases in labour costs. So, how as an industry do we decrease the biggest cost of all – labour, without cutting back on customer service?

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Do we need to be returning to an era of self-service?

Today, we live in a world where consumers need everything instantly and with no hassle. Because of this, there is a steady increase in the use of mobile payments apps which allow customers to control orders and payments from start to finish.

Labour costs are the most expensive component of the hospitality industry, in order to reduce these costs, operators are having to turn to technology - whether in the extreme form of robot chefs, or by removing team members from the bar or table service, replacing them instead with kiosk screens, or putting the power of payments directly into the hands of customers through their phones.

Operators need to look at what technology they can implement to help deliver service, ordering and payments more efficiently, whilst reducing labour costs. An obvious step is through customer mobile transactions. Ideally an operator would be on key aggregator apps such as UberEats and Deliveroo that can drive revenue for home delivery but also have own branded solutions to personalise the customer experience, which will drive in store transactions, higher average spends and optimise labour efficiency.

Keep it quick, keep it simple

The two most important functions of the payment or ordering process is that it is fast and simple. Let the customer pay easily and be rewarded for the continual investment to your brand. Implementing alternative payment methods such as mobile payments or order at table can improve operational efficiencies and the overall customer experience.

Keeping customers happy with less staff?

Operators shouldn’t be implementing any cost saving strategies at the expense of the customer and technology shouldn’t come into play unless it enhances the overall customer experience. Mobile payments not only encourage customers to spend more but also plays a huge role in reducing labour costs, whilst improving efficiencies and speed of service.

Implementing order at table via the customers mobile can automate the work of team members, freeing up front-of-house teams to focus on customer satisfaction. The key reasons operators implement this solution is to remove the need for a staff member to take the order, reducing labour costs and to remove lost revenue opportunities whereby the customer is deterred from ordering because the staff member/s are too busy or not to be seen.

Is it time for robot chefs?

Automation and robotics have been present in restaurants for some time now - automating everything from orders and delivery to cooking, rota scheduling and drone deliveries - we’ve seen it all. Whilst robot chefs do already exist and would appear to be the perfect fit particularly in a QSR environment, they won’t work across every style of service. Some customers want an ‘in and out’ style experience such as Nando’s, whilst others are looking for attentive customer service, such as fine dining restaurants or premium casual dining. The trick when it comes to technology, is knowing the balance of what customers want – ultimately, operators need to be looking at what saves them time and money, and implementing pay-at-table mobile payment or ordering apps is a fantastic way to strike this balance.

LOKE welcomes BL Burgers

We’ll Blame Canada for one of Sydney’s best burgers.

LOKE welcomed BL Burgers in July, within a month the process went from design, building, testing and training in-store to launching the app with over thousands of users earning points, and redeeming exclusive member deals.


LOKE’s Loyalty and rewards program provides your business a return on investment because you invest in rewarding your customers by captivating them and, they invest in redeeming rewards. The success of our loyalty and rewards program is judged on how well it helps our merchants reach higher revenues and business growth.

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  • Pay with your phone, earn points, get free food, and redeem exclusive member deals!

  • Earn 10 loyalty points for every $1 you spend at BL Burgers and Loaded by BL.

  • You can use your points to redeem special offers or in-app credit.

With mobile payment support, you can purchase exclusive in app offers and pay in store with your phone; no cash; no cards; no worries! Its safe, secure & simple.

We'll also be rewarding you with free exclusive merch, that is only available in the App when you reach "Baller Status" and hit a total spend of $500!


BL Burgers has just launched this week's prize, download the app for your chance to win!

Can a loyalty program be win-win?

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Can a loyalty program be win-win?

LOKE’s loyalty app is changing the game across England by solving the age old issue faced by the hospitality and retail sectors… How do I spend my marketing budget effectively? The white-label technology developed specifically for  these merchants provides a clear measure of return on investment by offering a link between in-store payments and ordering to loyalty and a host of other clever marketing features.


LOKE is delighted to welcome the northern England based Brazilian restaurant Estabulo Rodizio Bar & Grill to the family.  With six restaurants in the UK, Estabulo is a perfect example of a restaurant that wanted a loyalty program that offered more than a traditional card based system.


Estabulo is an all-you-can-eat buffet with a dedicated gaúchos menu that celebrates the traditional cooking structures of the South American horsemen. It offers charred, succulent and flavoursome cuts of meat, which are cooked over an open fire and skewered, then cut directly onto your plate which is what will captivate many consumers to join the Estabulo loyalty program.

By using the Estabulo mobile app customers will also be able to book a table and swap points for credit which can the be spent in store on anything from the menu. Loyalty customers will also gain access to exclusive grill flavours to enhance the benifits of the consumer experience.  

In exchange for these benefits Estabulo will start to learn more about their customers and will be able to tailor the marketing campaigns to be more effective, more direct and provide a greater return to the business. It is win-win.  


Loyalty and rewards will captivate new and existing customers

Loyalty and rewards will captivate new and existing customers!

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Coffee Boy is a fresh and funky new coffee shop based in the UK that has four sites. The coffee scene in the UK is dominated by chains using commercial coffee. As conasiours of coffee, Coffee Boy set out to source the finest tasting and best quality coffee, filling a void in the UK coffee market. As part of their business strategy Coffee Boy sought to enhance customer experience with a dynamic loyalty and rewards program that made not only the coffee, but the rewards an incentive to seek out your local Coffee Boy location.

The Coffee Boy app offers users the opportunity to easily locate their closest Coffee Boy location and then order ahead so the coffee is ready and waiting by the time you walk in the door. For those wanting to come in and chat with the friendly staff as their order a pay at counter method in the app still offers the chance to earn rewards. This multi payment type feature ensures the LOKE powered app is enhancing every customers experience, will being a great promotional tool for the merchant and rewards program for the customer.

Once users have downloaded the app they can earn points for every transaction and then swap points for credit for use on their next purchase at any Coffee Boy store. Coffee Boy is able to send promotions specific to each users favourite store, or promote their stores to users in order to build multi site loyalty.


Loyal buying behaviour!

Loyal buying behaviour!

London’s experimental organic ice cream maker Ruby Violet offers flavours that include premium ingredients, such as pistachios or alcohol - this North London based ice cream parlour is an eccentric find.


Pay with your phone, earn points, and redeem exclusive member deals with the Ruby Violet app. A customer loyalty and rewards program that is long-term and captivates your customers with incentives to have them come back, which will motivate customers to return often -this demonstrates loyal buying behaviour.

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LOKE’s successful loyalty and rewards program is able to see a direct return on investment from using the white-label technology developed out of Melbourne, Australia. Ruby Violet wanted to capitalise their business by enhancing customer experience. A loyalty and rewards program is important for business success, that is because they are becoming increasingly popular. Loyalty and reward programs captivate current customers to remain engaged and spend more money at your business.


Many merchants try to captivate new customers but what really works is engaging with your current customers through our loyalty and rewards program which costs less for your business in the future.