Author Archives: Dennis Duffy

About Dennis Duffy

Dennis Duffy is president and CEO of Loyalogy. Dennis has more than twenty years of in-depth experience with loyalty programs in a variety of industries and a concentration in the restaurant industry.

Loyalogy 2018 Research Study with Customized Options for Restaurants

Loyalogy, a leading provider of loyalty program strategy, analysis and research, is planning its 2018 study of consumer behavior with restaurant loyalty programs. This will be the third comprehensive study released by Loyalogy and will include new categories of content.

Loyalogy will allow restaurant companies to become more active in the research process for this study and receive a customized research report. Participating companies may:

  • Include email addresses from members of an existing loyalty program or e-mail club to respond to the survey. This will allow comparisons of a restaurant company’s guests to the responses received from a panel.
  • Include up to 12 additional custom questions presented only to the members included from the list provided by that restaurant company.
  • Participating companies receive a custom report and a full detailed data-set of the results.
  • For more information on this custom option, contact Dennis Duffy, president of Loyalogy at

The core study will be based on 1,100 responses from research panel consumers between the ages of 25 and 65 with household incomes over $75,000. The study will include approximately 70 questions.


Types of questions included in study:

Restaurant visit rate and spending, including breakdown of those who visit restaurants just for pleasure or both pleasure and business. (QSR, Fast Casual, Full-Service Casual, Full-service Fine Dining).

Usage of non-restaurant sources for prepared foods.

  • Mainstream grocery stores.  Eat in/take out/dayparts.
  • Gourmet grocery stores.  Eat in/take out/dayparts.
  • Participation in grocery loyalty programs.

Usage of delivery.  Single brand delivery versus multi-brand delivery.

Restaurant Loyalty Program Participation.

  • Participation rate in restaurant rewards programs.
  • Usage of mobile apps in the context of restaurant loyalty programs.
  • Usage of online services (website or mobile app) such as Open Table, Yelp, Urban Spoon and Trip Advisor.
  • Usage of online ordering (website or mobile app).
  • Relative appeal of different reward program benefits.
  • Attitudes about different statements regarding carrying membership cards, using a phone number as identifier and receiving promotional e-mail messages from rewards programs.
    Attitudinal statements regarding the impact of rewards programs on behavior.
  • Demographic characteristics.

Lowe’s Garden Club Select

I’ve seen the Lowe’s Garden Club Select name at Lowe’s stores and on their website. I thought it was a club; you know, like a club you join. I thought maybe it was a loyalty/rewards program, but then I figured that could not be the case because they put so much emphasis on their My Lowe’s program.

It turns out that Lowe’s Garden Club Select is not so much a club, but a method of categorizing plants sold at Lowe’s that have gone through some special evaluation and selection process.

Here is some language that appeared on the Lowe’s website:

Our team of garden experts selects and tests only the finest varieties, ensuring you always get better growth, better blooms, better longevity and the confidence to grow your best. Plants that make it to Lowe’s Garden Club Select™ originate from years of tireless evaluations and trials, with one ultimate objective in mind — to ensure you, the customer, will be successful with this product. On average, it takes between 5 to 7 years for an item to even be considered for Lowe’s Garden Club Select™.

Read more about Lowe’s Garden Club Select.


National Gardening Association – features a plant database and a wide range of forums and blog.

Dave’s Garden – a rich site for exchanging ideas and questions with other gardeners through a long list of forums.

Muddy Boots Plant Tags – the essential tool for documenting your garden. Muddy Boots Plant Tags features a robust garden record-keeping system. Gardeners can use this to document their own garden by adding plant records, pictures and journal notes in their own private database. It allows sharing information from your own personal database with others. It features interactive, QR-coded plant tags. You can scan these smart tags with a QR code reader available free for iPhone and Android smart phones as well as tablet computers. By scanning the QR-coded plant markers in your garden you can instantly retrieve the history of your plants on your smart phone. Great for garden tours large and small.

Missouri Botanical Gardens – a terrific source detailed fact sheets about many plants.

Fine Gardening – great for inspiration and articles.

American Horticultural Society – a great all around resource site for gardeners.

Good Earth Garden Center – Dirt Dollars Loyalty Program

The Good Earth Garden Center in Little Rock Arkansas gives a little bit back to its customers through its Dirt Dollars loyalty program.  It’s straightforward and easy to understand.  Get yourself a Good Earth Dirt Dollars card and you’ll earn one point per dollar spent.  Once you’ve accrued 500 points you’ll get a $25 reward.

About Good Earth Garden Center:

The Good Earth Garden Center opened for business in 1974 as primarily a retail nursery and growing facility. It has since developed into a full-service garden center offering a quality selection of shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, roses, vegetables, bulbs, herbs, houseplants, tropicals, pottery, fountains, soil, mulch, and stone yard, complete with landscape design and installation services, irrigation installation and repair, lawn and landscape maintenance, MosquitoX misting systems and a gift shop. Basically, everything a gardening or outdoor living fan needs can be found at The Good Earth Garden Center! It’s been exciting to serve the community for over 40 years and we look forward to another great 40 years of helping you realize your landscaping dreams!


Muddy Boots Plant Tags is a tool that allows gardeners to label plants, make notes and organize pictures. Document your garden and track your success with this web-based tool that consolidates all of your garden information in one place. And it’s accessible with a computer, tablet or smart phone. It also offers a durable QR-coded, smart plant tag allowing you to scan a plant tag in the garden and see all of the information about your plant on your phone (plant details, notes, pictures).

The National Gardening Association is full of helpful information, forums and blogs for gardeners of all levels.

Dave’s Garden is a very popular forum website for gardeners.

Home Depot Garden Club

It’s estimated that there are about 90 million consumers in the United States who take part in gardening in some way, shape or form. It’s a hobby for some, a passion for others. Anyone can be a gardener; it just takes a willingness to give it a try and a few basic tools.

The Home Depot created its garden club some years ago to help gardeners with any skill level get started and be as successful as possible with their gardening endeavors.

There are other resources available to help gardeners keep track of their gardening projects and document the success of their gardening projects over time.  One resource of note is Muddy Boots Plant Tags.


Muddy Boots Plant Tags is a garden record-keeping system which allows gardeners to add plant information to their personal database along with pictures and journal notes.  It’s a new platform for gardeners to do what they’ve always done: label plants, make notes and organize pictures.  But it enables all of that with a web-based tool that makes all of your garden information available with a computer, smart phone or tablet.  You can take all of the gardening information with you out to the garden in your pocket.

Muddy Boots Plant Tags also features optional QR-coded, interactive plant tags.  The dilemma gardeners have faced for years is that traditional plant tags (some refer to them as plant labels or plant markers) wear down over time, get lost or just cannot be read anymore.  Muddy Boots Plant Tags are aluminium and etched with a QR code that can be scanned with any smart phone or tablet using one of many free QR code reader apps.  This allows you to scan a tag in the garden and read all of the information you have in your personal database on your phone, instead of crawling around on the ground looking for a legible tag.


The Home Depot Garden Club features loads of helpful information for gardeners.  Some is how-to and some inspirational.  It also features a searchable plant database to help you figure out what to plant where and how to care for your plants.


Muddy Boots Plant Tags – a New Tech Tool to Help Gardeners Document their Garden

Over the past decade, Nancy Duffy has built a lovely ornamental garden but has been frustrated for years with her plant tags. “With thousands of plants in my garden it’s hard to remember all the names,” said Nancy. “I walk the garden with my gardening friends and crawl around the ground looking for a tag, which may or may not be there and if it is, it may not be legible anymore.”

A professional garden designer and avid gardener, Nancy came up with a solution. Muddy Boots Plant Tags are durable plant tags that can be scanned by a smart phone, retrieving information about the plant that the gardener has input into the Muddy Boots Garden Record-Keeping Application. “Instead of crawling around to find the tag and reading the tag, often at ground level, you scan the tag and read information about your plant on your phone,” said Nancy.

The Muddy Boots Garden Record-Keeping Application allows gardeners to organize all the information about their garden in one place, accessible from a computer, smartphone or tablet. “Gardeners can keep much better records about their plants including journal notes and pictures. No more tattered notebooks and file folders,” said Nancy. “And the gardener can access the data from the house or out in the garden. The interactive, scannable plant tags can be scanned by the gardener or visitors with a simple QR code scanner on a smartphone or tablet.”

Mignon Durham is an avid gardener using Muddy Boots Plant Tags in Asheville, NC and she says, “I am a detail geek, with a bent to documentation, photography, and maintaining folders of plant tags and sales receipts. Muddy Boots Plant Tags is the perfect solution. Muddy Boots Plant Tags now has all my plant and garden history (three years of information now available on my iPad, iPhone, or laptop). Furthermore, any plants with a QR coded plant tag can be scanned on a smartphone while out in the garden for access to its entire record.”
Bullington Gardens, a 12-acre horticultural education center and public garden in Henderson County NC, has recently selected Muddy Boots Plant Tags. “We are excited to implement Muddy Boots Plant Tags. The Record-Keeping Application will allow us to better organize information about our remarkable plant collection and the plant tags will make that information accessible to our many visitors,” said John Murphy, Director of Bullington Gardens.

Muddy Boots Plant Tags are made of aluminum and feature a unique QR code that links it to the plant data in the Garden Record-Keeping Application. The tags are durable and made to hold up for years in the elements. These plant tags are available in bundles of five at the website. A purchase of plant tags is not required when using the Garden Record-Keeping Application; however, the plant tags are necessary for scanning plants while out in the garden.

The Muddy Boots Garden Record-Keeping Application is free for gardeners with up to 25 plants and 50 photos. Gardeners with more plants and photos may purchase a subscription for $4.95 per month, or $49.95 per year allowing up to 500 plant records and 5,000 photos. There are higher level plans for larger gardens described at the website. All levels include unlimited plant and garden journal notes and are “Ad Free” – no ads whatsoever appear in the Garden Record-Keeping Application.

Loyalty Data Analytics Tutorial – uploading CSV file to MS Access

We’ve been conducting loyalty program analytics for many years and are setting out to make analytics approachable to tech-savvy marketing people using desktop tools.

The examples we will use are based on restaurant loyalty programs, but the principles apply across other industries. It’s all about who, what, when and where. The ‘who’ is the member of the program. The what is actually the ‘how much’ and that is how much the member spent. The ‘when’ is the date and time of the transaction. The where is the location, assuming this is a multi-location type of business. It could apply to restaurants, retailers, hotels, golf course, whatever. You get the idea.

We have worked with about half a dozen different loyalty platforms; the systems that collect and organize the data that supports a loyalty program (who bought, what they earned and what they redeemed). These platforms have some way of exporting transaction data, usually defined as a detailed ‘report’ that can be exported as a CSV (comma separated values) file or an Excel spreadsheet. Keep in mind the Excel option is typically not practical because of its maximum row constraint of one million.

For many medium-sized application we use Microsoft Access to handle up to 10-15 million rows of data, depending upon the size of each row. In this first episode we’ll walk you through loading CSV data in Access and getting your hands dirty.

As always, feel free to reach out to us with questions or if you need help.

Email Dennis at Loyalogy Dot Com.

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