Chipotle Chiptopia Rewards

Chipotle has recently announced a new summer-long loyalty-like program to lure back some of those guests who were scared away by the troubles the company has recently faced. I label this loyalty-like because it’s more of a short-term promotion rather than the long-term strategy that loyalty marketing represents. It’s tough to make significant short-term progress with a loyalty program because by nature those who will get on board first are typically a brand’s best and most frequent guests. So short-term efforts at loyalty can become break-even at best and quite possible negative, with many visit unnecessarily discounted.

This Chipotle Chiptopia program goes live on July 1, 2016 and runs through the end of September. On the one hand, Chipotle has attempted to create a program that aims specifically at the creation of incremental visits. However, the program they have created is complicated. I often say that a loyalty program has to be simple enough for a server to explain in one, maybe two sentences.

Here is the graphic they’re using to explain the program:

Chipotle Chiptopia Graphic

It’s takes some work to figure this thing out. I think plenty of guests will join and figure “why not?” Those who really try to figure this out are likely to be who? Those who really like Chipotle and already visit Chipotle a lot.

If you don’t want to study the graphic you can watch a video about the program:

Chiptopia Summer Rewards Program from Chipotle Mexican Grill on Vimeo.

Blaze Pizza Rewards

Blaze Pizza is all the rage because of the way the company has reinvented the process of ordering pizza. They’ve turned it into made to order fast casual allowing consumers to select each sauce and topping individually and have their hot, crispy and yummy pizza ready in less than five minutes.

Blaze also has an app-based rewards program, allowing members who download the app to earn “flames” every time they spend five dollars or more at a Blaze Pizza location. Once you’ve earned ten flames you’ll get a reward. The snag with this is that they don’t specifically describe what the reward is. And as far as I can tell, the only information about the program is in the app, not on the Blaze Pizza website.

I’ll find out once I get to ten flames. Because of the convenient nature of the Blaze concept and the really good pizza, it’s a viable lunch option that competitive with most other fast casual restaurant concepts and one of the few that offer tasty and fast pizza. So it doesn’t take long to get to ten flames.

Learn more about Blaze Pizza at the website. For more about the app and Blaze Pizza Rewards, check out the app on your smart phone.

Four Corners Tavern Restaurant Group facing troubles with changes to their rewards program

This appeared in the Chicago Tribune on June 14, 2016. Consumers are serious about their rewards and can get quite upset when massive changes are made. We’ll see more and more of this as restaurant rewards programs become more pervasive. Restaurant companies must be much more careful about how they implement changes and should isolate their current membership from the negative impact of changes.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A Cook County man is suing Four Corners Tavern Group, which has 11 restaurants in Chicago and another one coming to Maggie Daley Park, after the company allegedly switched rewards programs and left “hundreds or thousands” of customers with no way to redeem credit accumulated toward rewards.

Micah Riskin, a regular customer of Highline in River North and other Four Corners establishments, filed his class-action complaint in Cook County Circuit Court last week, alleging the restaurant group violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Last March, Riskin signed up for the “Spring Rewards” program offered through Highline, but Four Corners left him and others with no way to transfer credit toward rewards when it switched programs in January, the lawsuit said.

“It’s something they do to bring people in the door. They should live up to their obligations, in our minds,” said Aron Robinson, Riskin’s attorney, on Tuesday.

Anna Treiber, a spokeswoman for Four Corners Tavern Group, said the company is declining to comment on the lawsuit.

Four Corners operates its taverns — Highline, Fremont, Benchmark, Schoolyard, Westend, Kirkwood, Gaslight, Sidebar Grille, Ranalli’s, Steak Bar and Federales — primarily in the Loop and on the city’s North and Near West sides, but has a vision to “open an establishment in all of the unique neighborhoods throughout Chicago,” according to Four Corners website. The group’s also been approved to operate a restaurant in Maggie Daley Park that’s slated to open next year.

Each Four Corners location had its own distinct program and rewards didn’t transfer between taverns. At Highline, under the “Spring Rewards” program, customers were to be awarded a $10 credit for every $250 spent, according to the lawsuit.

By the time Four Corners announced the change — from Spring Rewards to My4C Points — in January, Riskin had spent $240 of the $250 needed at Highline in order to receive the $10 credit, the complaint said.

Four Corners communicated the change to customers via email on January 15, stating that rewards had to be redeemed by the end of February. But there was no way for customers like Riskin to transfer credit to the new program, according to the lawsuit.

“It’s nice to move on to something better, but you have all these people who have accrued these points,” Robinson said.

Four Corners was founded by Andy Gloor and Matt Menna, principals with real estate firm Sterling Bay.

Barnes & Noble Membership Rewards

This program has been around for many years and is an integral part of the Barnes & Noble brand experience. Members pay $25 per year for membership and immediately receive $50 in discounts.

Members also receive:

  • Free express shipping on orders.
  • 40% off hardcover best sellers.
  • 10% off just about everything else.

If you buy books, it’s a great deal.  No need to carry your card if you’ve connected your phone number.

Learn more at the program website »

My Lowes Offers Reward with Information and Reminders

There are many ways to cultivate loyalty among customers. As we all know, many of those ways include rewards, but in some situations information can be a benefit which increases loyalty.

Consumers shop at Lowe’s for all kinds of things. Much like other brands in the category (such as Home Depot) Lowe’s offers everything from live plants to outdoor grills and kitchen sinks to lumber.

The My Lowe’s program allows consumers to keep better track of all of their past purchases with Lowes. Why is this helpful and a benefit? Well, it helps you keep an inventory in one place of the items you’ve purchased to improve your home. It also helps to remind you of periodic maintenance tasks. When did I replace that furnace filer? You can create a home profile and create shopping lists to make that next weekend shopping trip more productive and better organized.

This information-based benefit can effectively create a “tie-breaker” with consumers who consider Lowe’s versus other competitors.

Learn more at My Lowes »

Bartolotta Rewards

Over the last two decades, the Bartolotta Restaurants have created a great reputation by offering traditional Italian dishes using the freshest ingredients available.  The Bartolotta Rewards program recognizes customers loyalty by rewarding them one point for every dollar spent, translating to 10% back on all dining purchases!


The Bartolotta Restaurants sets high standards for innovation and quality of cuisine to produce a memorable dining experience.  We know you have countless options when selecting a restaurant in Milwaukee, and we are so pleased when you choose to dine with us. 

Join our loyalty program by dining at any participating restaurant and ask your server about Bartolotta Rewards!  Your server will give you a card that you’ll need to register once you get home.  Plus, you’ll earn points for your purchase that day!  The Bartolotta Rewards program is free to join, and will award you 200 bonus points on your first purchase!

Earn one point for every dollar you spend on food and beverage at any of our participating restaurants.  For ever 250 points you accumulate, you earn a $25 Rewards certificate that we mail out after the end of each quarter.  That translates to 10% back on all food and beverage purchases when dining, hosting a private function or attending a special event.

More Perks! The primary account holder will receive a $25 birthday coupon to use during his or her birthday month.  At the beginning of each year, we’ll send you a coupon for $25 off a bottle of wine that is valid for the entire calendar year.

For more information visit the Bartolotta Restaurants website.

Cosi Card – Two Cards in One

Cosi II

The New Cosi Card is like two cards in one!  It is both a rewards card and a gift/stored valued card.  Just swipe your Così Card each visit and you’ll start earning freebies after just 10 purchases!  Cosi also introduces a Catering Rewards card to start accruing catering points.


The re-loadable reward-able way to enjoy Cosi.

Cosi Card loyalty program – It’s our way of saying thank you. Pick up a Così Card at any Cosi location then, swipe your Cosi Card each visit and after just 10 qualifying purchases you’ll earn your first meal or beverage on us. We will also be surprising you every so often with special treats.

Gift/Stored Value Card – Cosi Cards make the perfect gift – whether you’re treating yourself or surprising one of your Così loving friends, family members or employees. The Così Card makes it quick and easy to pay for Così cravings.

Cosi Catering Rewards – Now you can start earning your way to FREE sandwiches, salads and more with the NEW Così Catering Rewards Program. Simply use your Catering Rewards Card with each visit and you’re on your way to deliciousness.

For more information please visit the Cosi Card page on their website.

Beggars Pizza Rewards – Big Cheese Club

Beggars Pizza has been bringing great pizza and Italian food to Chicagoland for nearly 40 years. With a family atmosphere and a strong commitment to the local community, they  realized the importance of a loyalty program. In April 2014, Beggars Pizza launched its loyalty program, inviting guests to join the Big Cheese Club to earn rewards, free food and more!


Join our Big Cheese Club to earn Rewards, Beggars Stuff, Free Food and More! Get 10 points for every dollar you spend. For every 1500 points, $10 in Beggars Bucks will be automatically added to your account which can be used towards any food/beverage purchase!*

We also celebrate your birthday & anniversaries with rewards! By just being a Big Cheese Loyalty Member you will earn bonus offers, Beggars Stuff and more!

For more information, visit the Rewards section on the Beggars Pizza website.

Join the Ranks of the Khan’s Rewards

By using your Khan’s Rewards card you will never leave empty handed.  You’ll receive 5 points for every $1 you spend.  At 350 points you can redeem a free dessert. At 750 points, you will receive a $10 reward. When you sign up you will receive a Free Shareable or Dessert special offer. Khan’s also offers birthday rewards, the more you visit Genghis the bigger the birthday surprise.


Legend has it that during their conquests, Genghis Khan and his men grilled food on their shields over an open flame. In much the same way, our Grill Masters grill your combination of fresh ingredients and stir fry them to perfection on our sizzling hot grill. It’s a centuries-old tradition you can enjoy only at Genghis Grill – the Build Your Own Stir Fry.

Genghis Grill, the largest build your own stir-fry chain in the United States, is well known for its fresh, hot and healthy food, and for its style of fun service. Fans head over to the Fresh Market Bar where they are greeted with an array of more than 80 delicious, fresh ingredients from which they can build their own bowl. They then hand their bowl to our grill masters who cook their creation to perfection on a large, sizzling, circular grill.

The first Genghis Grill opened in 1998 in Dallas, TX. As of March 2014, there are 105 locations in 23 states nationwide.

For more information visit the Khan’s Rewards page on the Genghis Grill website.

Which Wich – Vibe Club Rewards

Which Wich 2

The first rule of Vibe Club is everybody loves Vibe Club!  As a club member, you’ll receive all sorts of good vibes in your inbox, including a free gift for signing up, special savings, sandwich suggestions, Which Wich news and birthday presents.


Vibe club has now become vibe club rewards, our way of continuing to communicate our new and exciting news to you, but now we can also reward you for your purchases. Vibe Club rewards eliminates the need to print offers, and you can now redeem them in store through your phone number.

You can either provide your rewards card or mobile number at check out to earn points for your purchase.

Once you earn 35 points, a free 7” wich will be added to your card. You can redeem your reward on your next visit, or save it for another time.

As long as you have registered your card online you can use your mobile number to earn or redeem rewards in store or when you order online.

For more information on Vibe Club Rewards, please visit the Which Wich website here.