Not quite an all-you-can-eat buffet, but fast food and casual restaurants are blitzing their best customers with rewards and customized offers. As the following Forbes article reports, many QSRs are energizing their marketing programs in order to be competitive in a crowded market.
Investors reacted favorably to Chipotle’s new loyalty program launch Tuesday. The new Chipotle Rewards program allows the company to hyper-target promotions to its customers through a personalized CRM program.
If it seems like a lot of restaurant brands are revamping their loyalty programs as of late, it’s because they are. Within the past two years, Subway, Pizza Hut, Chick-fil-A, Pollo Tropical, Taco Cabana, Chipotle and Papa John’s have either introduced new rewards programs or have restructured the programs they already had in place.
Starbucks, long an industry standard bearer for its loyalty program success, is even planning on rolling out a new iteration this year. As the company explained in a press release, the redesigned Starbucks Rewards program will provide customers more choice around redemptions and payment, as well as expanded personalization capabilities for those who are digitally connected to the company.
What gives? Basically, consumers have been inundated with generalized marketing offers from every corner of the digital vortex for years and now they’re craving a little one-on-one time with their favorite brands.
Customer loyalty programs have been around a long time, but now this time it’s different. QSRs are optimizing the value of their hungriest and most frequent diners. Rather than generic buy-one-get-one-free, rewards programs zero in on past purchases by type of order, frequency of visits, time of day, and so on. It’s the gamification of these programs that get loyal customers to stop by more often and spend more. Let the games begin.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group