Exploring Cabana Bar’s loyalty program
26 February 2024
Emma Inglis
The front of Cabana Bar

There’s nothing better than wrapping up a day’s work on a summer evening – heading to a rooftop bar and enjoying drinks with friends. Nestled in the heart of Martin Place is Cabana Bar, Sydney CBD’s largest outdoor terrace and popular tropical style bar. During the day, people come and go for a casual lunch, where the menu features shared plates, tacos, and pub classics. But as soon as 5pm hits, the atmosphere buzzes with the post-work crowd ready to quench their thirst with a hard-earned drink. As the sun sets, Cabana Bar comes alive with the vibrant energy of people socialising, eating, and drinking. This article explores Cabana Bar’s loyalty program and how they acquire and engage their members. 

Club Cabana

Launching in November 2023, Club Cabana is their loyalty program offering members exclusive perks.

Members receive:

  • Join bonus: One free drink when they register
  • Birthday treat: A special gift on their birthday
  • Margarita Mondays: Spicing up Mondays with $15 margaritas
  • Wine Wednesdays: $6 house wines on Wednesdays from 12 – 6pm

A great way to acquire new loyalty program members is by offering a tangible and immediate reward. Club Cabana offers their members one free drink when they join the program. This offer is time sensitive, available only for the first month. This time constraint adds a sense of urgency and motivation to visit soon. The sooner a member can be reengaged and provided with value after joining the program, the more likely they are to be retained due to behavioural reinforcement. Brands like Guzman y Gomez and Red Rooster also provide a complementary offering when members sign up.

The loyalty program website

Joining the loyalty program

Members can join online by providing their first/last name, email address, mobile and date of birth. On completion, they are presented with a QR code to scan, prompting them to download their Club Cabana digital member card into their Apple or Google wallet .

While the online registration process is simple, it is expected that most members are more likely to join during a point-of-sale transaction. Cabana Bar have a high volume of customers and fast transactions, especially between 5 – 7 pm. This means customers are rarely asked if they are a member of the program or if they would like to join. This will certainly be having a detrimental effect on both registration and ongoing engagement rates. Best-practice loyalty program have high-engagement from frontline staff who play a critical role in acquiring new members and encouraging them to identify at each transaction.

Reducing friction for enrolment

Cabana Bar would benefit from displaying signs or QR codes promoting loyalty program registration on the menu, at the counter, or within the digital menu at the point of sale. The absence of these makes it challenging for potential members to be aware of the program’s existence. The lack of visibility presents a missed opportunity as only those dedicated enough to research the bar are likely to discover and join Club Cabana.

Joining a loyalty program at the point of sale minimises the steps and effort required for enrolment. Customers are more likely to participate when the process is seamless and integrated into their current transaction. This can be accomplished by incorporating the option to join the program directly into their digital menu. Alternatively, customers could be asked to quote their mobile phone number for staff to enter during the point of sale. This would then trigger an SMS with a link to the registration page.

Joining a loyalty program must be simple

With an abundance of loyalty programs across various industries, member acquisition strategies need to focus on making it as simple as possible for a customer to join1. This is because any perceived barrier to entry is likely to have a negative impact on member base growth.

In a survey of 15,750 consumers across nine countries, Siegel & Gale (2018)2 found that 55 per cent of respondents were willing to pay more for simpler experiences. Furthermore, 64 per cent of respondents were more likely to recommend a brand because it provided simpler experiences and communications. Their research over eight years identified that ‘simplicity inspires deeper trust and strengthens loyalty’. Moreover, they observed that ‘simplicity drives financial gain for brands willing to embrace it’.

Spice up the perks!

Although the program is still in its early stages, having been launched just a few months ago, there is an opportunity to enhance its appeal by spicing up the benefits. Margarita Mondays and Wine Wednesdays are a great standout member benefit. But most bars already offer happy hour options. To really shine, Club Cabana could offer monthly specials or limited-edition cocktails exclusively to members.

For example, February is the month of love, with Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Club Cabana could offer special rose-infused cocktails, discounted glasses of rose or even a refreshing glass of froze for the warmer evenings. Introducing such monthly specials or limited-edition cocktails will not only add variety but also keep members engaged, as they will be eager to explore the latest offerings.

Rose-infused cocktails

Final thoughts

It is exciting to see one of Sydney’s premier rooftop bars has launched a loyalty program. It will be interesting to observe how this program will evolve to better attract new members and keep them engaged.

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Our loyalty consultants have helped global brands take the critical steps to design unique and effective loyalty programs, as well as support ongoing evolution to meet changing business and consumer expectations. Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive loyalty services and talk with our loyalty consultants to understand how to develop or optimise your loyalty program strategy.

  1. Shelper, P. et al. (2023a) Loyalty Programs: The Complete Guide . 2nd edn. Sydney, NSW: Loyalty & Reward Co. ↩︎
  2. Siegal & Gale, 2018, ‘The World’s Simplest Brands; 2018-2019,’ https://simplicityindex.com/2018/region/global/, accessed 8 May 2020.
<a href="https://loyaltyrewardco.com/author/emma-inglis/" target="_self">Emma Inglis</a>

Emma Inglis

Emma is a Strategy Consultant at Loyalty & Reward Co, the leading loyalty consulting firm. Loyalty & Reward Co design, implement, and operate the world’s best loyalty programs for the world’s best brands. Emma has previously worked with top tier management consulting companies such as Bain, BCG, and Mckinsey supporting their market research. Emma applies her skills in all aspects of the business including loyalty program design, lifecycle strategy, market research and member engagement.

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