LIST OF RESTAURANT LOYALTY REWARDS PROGRAMS AS OF MARCH 13, 2016
Have we missed one? Let us know.
LIST OF RESTAURANT LOYALTY REWARDS PROGRAMS AS OF MARCH 13, 2016
Have we missed one? Let us know.
Our latest updated list of restaurant loyalty rewards programs. Do you know of a program we’ve missed? If so, please let us know.
Our latest list of restaurant loyalty rewards programs. Are we missing anything? Please let us know.
Qdoba Mexican Grill is looking to secure its position in the Southwestern cuisine market with its customer rewards program. Given the competition in this market, it may come as a surprise to some that Qdoba’s rewards program is as simple as it is. But, sometimes simple is best. It’s what you do behind the scenes to leverage guest behavior data through targeted marketing that makes the difference.
Qdoba customers can enroll in the rewards program at any participating Qdoba restaurant. With the purchase of any burrito, naked burrito, quesadilla, taco salad, nachos, craft 2, gumbo, kids Meals, or order of 3 Tacos, customers in most markets will receive 100 reward points (some markets only offer 85). After customers accrue 1,000 points, they may receive a free entree, although Qdoba vaguely notes that “some charges may still apply for add-ons or extras.” Beyond the free entree for return customers, patrons will receive either a free order of chips and salsa or a regular drink upon enrolling in the program, as well as special email offers and a free entree for their birthday.
Qdoba also offers catering rewards. Returning customers can earn 1 point for every dollar spent on Qdoba catering for “every pre-tax, pre-delivery dollar spent on qualifying Qdoba Catering items.” Customers can redeem these points within a 12 month period. In order to redeem these points:
you need to login into your Rewards Account. If you have earned over 100 catering rewards points, you are eligible to redeem your Catering Rewards if you wish to do so. To redeem your Catering Rewards points, click the “REDEEM CATERING REWARDS NOW” button (located under your Catering Rewards point summary). You will then be able to distribute your Catering Rewards points for the following redemption options:
* Qdoba Catering Discount every 1,000 points = $50 (redeemed in $50 increments only) * Free Entrée Rewards 100 points minimum, 100 points = 1 free entrée * Gift Certificates 1,000 catering points = $50 (minimum 1,000 points to redeem)
Qdoba’s strategy of targeting both casual diners and catering customers could put them in a position to secure their spot in the market. For more information and updates, visit the Qdoba website.
WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW AT QDOBA
The preferred method of handling the logistics of a loyalty rewards program in a restaurant is with an integrated system in which the loyalty platform and the point of sale (POS) platform communicate with one another. The POS passes member data (card number, even if that card number has been retrieved via phone number or name look up as is quite common these days) and purchase data to the loyalty system. The loyalty system passes reward data (if a reward exists and is being used by the member on the transaction) back to the POS to be inserted into the check (as a discount or as a tender type). This approach is smooth and clean.
We hear from restaurant companies and operators who cannot achieve the integrated approach for one reason or another. Some of these companies are looking for an alternative method of collecting guest data which stands alone as a separate system and is not connected with the POS. This approach has its downsides and risks (reconciliation and potential fraud) but if a restaurant company goes down this path with eyes wide open it may be a better alternative than doing nothing.
A SIMPLE LOYALTY SYSTEM FRAMEWORK
My purpose here is to outline a potential approach or framework, envisioning a stand-alone, web-based computer system (simple loyalty, or, better yet, ‘Loyalty Simple’) that handles the most basic loyalty system functions and provides the most basic reporting functions to support the reconciliation to POS reporting.
This Loyalty Simple framework works best in a limited-service restaurant with few POS stations and a moderate number of daily purchase transactions (100-200 per day). It can be handled running on a small laptop or tablet device. For the purposes of explaining this framework, we won’t go into detail about exactly how this hypothetical loyalty program works, let’s just assume a member earns points that convert to rewards and that those rewards may be applied to a check in the restaurant as a discount.
ADDING A GUEST
In many programs, a membership card exists. However, in many instances, members don’t have their card with them when they visit the restaurant and most companies have developed alternate lookup capabilities, the most common of which is by phone number. The expectation has been created over the past several years and this capability is now expected by guests. So, in our framework, imagine there is no card. It’s all based on your phone number.
Here’s the situation. The guest is in the restaurant and wishes to join the loyalty program right now and earn points on the purchase he/she is about to make. What do we really need to collect?
This can be accomplished quickly to create a record for this guest so that you may begin recording purchase transactions by phone number. The reason we say ‘maybe’ when it comes to e-mail address is that the e-mail capture could be a subsequent step that the member may perform later online as part of a more complete registration process. The challenge with collecting e-mail addresses at POS is the address should be entered twice to reduce typing errors and some e-mail addresses these days get a little complicated. We don’t want to slow things down at POS.
A member is making a purchase, identifies himself as a member and provides a phone number (the member has already been added to the system, either on a prior visit or just prior to making this transaction). After entering the phone number, the system identifies whether or not there are rewards available. If rewards are available, the member may choose to have those rewards applied to this check. The server input the gross amount of the check and selects the reward amount to apply. The system adds a transaction record with basic information (phone number, date, time, location, gross amount, rewards applied, net amount). The member’s balance is updated in the member record (adding points earned, deducting rewards redeemed). The system displays a summary screen for the server so that the server may perform the action required at the POS to insert the discount (from the reward) if a reward was used. The transaction records feed end of day reporting that lists all loyalty-related transactions so that they may be reviewed and the rewards redeemed may be compared to total discounts applied at the POS.
Store personnel may look up members to view their profile and history by phone number or name and view their information, balances (points and rewards) and view a history of their transactions.
Basic reporting may include lists of transactions for general review and reconciliation and to understand how many points have been awarded for the day, week or month if the restaurant is accounting for points awarded for an expense accrual. Also, member lists may be available for general review and for a total of outstanding points and rewards balances, once again for any accounting action depending upon how the company is handling accounting for their program. All reports should be available for export to Excel for additional manipulation, analysis and examination. This would also allow for transferring e-mail addresses from the loyalty system into whatever e-mail platform might be used by the restaurant company for general communication activities.
ALLOWING GUESTS TO REGISTER FOR ONLINE ACCESS
This is increasingly a standard and expected function. Members may have an account established in the loyalty system and then access the account through the restaurant company’s website. The first time the account is accessed, the member establishes a password and provides an e-mail address and any other desired information. The member may log-in moving forward to review/edit their profile information, balances and history.
THE CHOICE BETWEEN SIMPLE and NOTHING
The best approach is an integrated loyalty system and POS. But if it’s just not possible for your company for whatever reason, this Loyalty Simple framework might make sense. If you go down this path with your eyes wide open and understand the requirements of operating with such a framework it may be your best approach.
Our latest list of restaurant loyalty programs. What are we missing? Please comment, tweet us or contact us.
Sweetgreen, a Washington D.C. based fast casual restaurant recently launched its ‘Sweetgreen Rewards’ program – an example of the convergence of loyalty/rewards programs and mobile payments. First, a little background on Sweetgreen with locations in D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia:
Sweetgreen is a place where you can get fun, fashionable food that’s both healthy for you and aligned with your values. Simply stated… food that fits.
- We source local and organic ingredients from farmers we know.
- We leave a gentle footprint to protect our planet.
- We share fun, food, music, and ideas with our friends.
- We build meaningful relationships with those around us.
Download the app, join the program, register a form of payment and you’re good to go. Pay with your phone, earn rewards and ‘give back’ (they have a ‘1% Healthy Schools’ program).
The Sweetgreen app is the first white-label app running on LevelUp. This means that all of the back-end components like loyalty tracking, customer analytics, engagement tools, and security are powered by LevelUp’s payment infrastructure.
We’ll be watching this and other programs that combine rewards related to dining and rewards related to how you pay for dining. The ultimate examination is to determine what percentage of a restaurant’s guest base will change how they pay to earn rewards.
For more information, visit the Sweetgreen website.
Packed full of facts about restaurant loyalty and rewards programs, the Tasty Little Restaurant Loyalty Fact Book is based upon a national study of U.S. consumers regarding attitudes and behavior with respect to restaurant rewards programs. The study is called LoyaltyPulse.
We know from our LoyaltyPulse research study that 73% of consumers want one restaurant rewards program that is honored by multiple restaurant brands. The folks at Louisville Originals know that from experience with their multiple-restaurant coalition program. Here’s an excerpt from a recent article in the Louisville Courier-Journal:
Originally begun as a marketing consortium of local independent restaurants that sold gift certificates online every three months, the Louisville Originals program is now best known for its rewards program that enters its fifth year giving 22,554 cardholders credits at member eateries.
“I think we were very hopeful” that the local marketing program would take off, board secretary Kerry DeMuth said, “but you have no way of knowing in these types of things.”
While Louisville Originals has gift certificate programs as well, “I think the rewards (card) programs would be, by far and away, the most popular with customers,” said Siobhan Reidy, an Originals co-founder who owns the Irish Rover restaurants with her husband Michael Reidy.
For every dollar spent at one of the restaurants, card holders get one point. At 150 points, card holders gt a $10 gift certificate — maintained on the card — to use at any of the restaurants. Double points are offered the first Tuesday of the month. There is a 500 point cap for any one visit and no more than $100 in credits can be redeemed by any one person in a visit.
Starbucks has been very successful with My Starbucks Rewards. The integration of loyalty, prepaid and mobile is a powerful combination. Here is an excerpt from an article at FastCasual.com, quoting Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz:
Overall, the Starbucks gift card accounts for 25 percent of U.S. tender, Schultz said. He noted that the Starbucks gift card was likely the most popular gift item of the 2012 holiday season. More than $1 billion was loaded onto Starbucks gift cards in the quarter (a 25 percent increase over the same period last year), and one in 10 adults in the U.S. received one as a gift.
What’s more, 20 percent of card transactions at Starbucks locations were conducted using the mobile app, Shultz said. Over 7 million customers now use one of our mobile payment apps, translating into 2.1 million mobile payment transactions each week, with hundreds of thousands of additional Starbucks mobile app downloads each week.
It wasn’t just about payments either. The integration of the Starbucks loyalty card with the payment app meant that the company added 1.4 million members in Q1 of 2013. That’s an increase of 86 percent over last year’s 778,000 new members for the same quarter, Schultz said.
Clearly, loyalty plays a strategic role at Starbucks. They ‘get it’ – loyalty is a strategic game changer.
Here’s a little more about My Starbucks Rewards, from the website:
MY STARBUCKS REWARDS FEATURES/BENEFITS
“Earn 1 Star every time you pay with your registered Starbucks Card or Starbucks mobile app at a participating Starbucks or our online store. As you collect Stars, you move up to bigger benefits. Get started by registering a Starbucks Card.
Use your card once, earn your first reward. Sweet!
Five Stars puts you at Green. Besides your free birthday drink or food reward, you also earn:
Collect 30 Stars within 12 months and you’re Gold. Once you reach Gold, keep those benefits for another 12 months by earning another 30 Stars. With Gold, you get all the Welcome and Green benefits plus:
For more information, visit the Starbucks Rewards Website.
WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW AT STARBUCKS