Loyalty is the bread and butter of successful businesses in the F&B industry. Loyalty programs need to serve the customer not the company. A success is highly dependent on having satisfied customers. We’re in a world when competition is just a few clicks away, and you really have to define your presence.
With over 2.5 billion smartphones in the world, any rewards platform simply has to be mobile. Mobile means real-time, which is demanded by customers. A successful F&B application must be integrated with the brands character, effectively target users and accommodate their individual needs at all times.
This has obvious benefits for food and beverage chains too, as mobile enables a more direct and personal relationship with their customers than is possible via other channels. Push notifications, for example, can drive awareness and engagement about a promotion or encourage a visit or purchase that might otherwise not have happened.
In a world of ever-increasing customer expectations, increased mobile abilities offer immediate user benefits: seamless payments, easy ordering and delivery, faster service, and visibility to the process every step of the way.
So, let's take a look at the 6-successful food and beverage loyalty programs and see what makes them so special:
Not only is this program one of the best loyalty programs in the food and beverage industry, it is also one of the best loyalty examples in the world.
Starbucks has 30,184 stores worldwide, making a consistent coffee experience available in different countries throughout the world. Over the last two years, membership has grown more than 25%, loyal customers use Starbucks’ membership program (17 million members), for about 40% of sales at the company’s US stores.
Starbucks has enabled customers to check their gift card balance, points, and mobile orders through their website, in-store and via the mobile app, which is the most popular in use. This omnichannel capability is attractive to customers, encouraging engagement at many levels. Customers earn birthday rewards, free in-store refills and double-star days- these are limited-time promotions during which members earn twice the points for purchases made.
Starbucks’ user friendly mobile app makes online ordering and payment easy. The mobile ordering system acts as a digital marketing tool, allowing customers to see new items much in advance of launch. The Starbucks app provides users an inviting and innovative personalized experience, just like the coffee chain itself. The convenience of using an app acts as a powerful driver of loyalty. The simple layout of the app makes it appealing to users.
The success of the Starbucks rewards program is that it knows how to target the right people, and their personalized rewards serve as an excellent incentive. Likewise, the exclusive features that accompany this program, allow its members to feel that they belong to a select group of people, which in fact is in line with the concept of this brand.
Dunkin’ Donuts is a famous coffee and donut shop. Its first store was opened in 1950 in Quincy, Massachusetts. Since then, it has opened more than 12,000 shops in 45 countries, and about 3 million people visit Dunkin’ Donuts every day.
The company has achieved such results because it saw the opportunities of the internet and mobile technologies and published its own mobile payment and gifting app in 2012. The DD Perks program was designed to provide customers with new levels of speed and convenience and the results suggest that customers are responding to the mobile strategy.
To attract new customers to their rewards program, Dunkin’ Donuts gives bonuses and free drinks for registering and for the first, second, and even third store visits. Similar to Starbucks, the Dunkin’ Donuts loyalty program is linked to a mobile app, so everyone who wants to get a free drink needs to download the Dunkin’ Donuts application.
Since the Dunkin’ Donuts app was first launched, it has been downloaded 14 million times. And the majority of people who register in the Dunkin’ Donuts app don’t delete it after they get their first free drinks, but rather stay loyal to the brand. The Dunkin’ Donuts community has more than 8 million loyal customers all over the world, and this number is constantly growing.
To motivate customers to use cash-free payments, Dunkin’ Donuts implemented a payment gateway in their app. However, unlike Starbucks, the company decided to give customers more freedom to choose how they pay for drinks. Another benefit of this decision is that now Dunkin’ Donuts gets a chance to collect as much information about their customers as it needs.
Panera Bread, the popular chain of bakery/cafe restaurants with nearly 2,200 locations across the U.S. and Canada, has seen great success with their loyalty rewards program, MyPanera. Panera’s loyalty program delivered over $1 billion in sales in 2018 and that figure is estimated to double by 2019, thanks to its mobile, web and kiosk sales.
Customers can explore and personalize menu items, and place orders more quickly. Loyalty club members can even save preferences and payment details to earn rewards. They also introduced Rapid Pick-Up, a service that lets customers order via website or app and pick up without waiting in line.
These changes have created smoother, more accurate ordering processes and reduced wait times, which leads to happier customers. Today, 30% of their orders are generated digitally and they have to keep evolving. With over 1.5M digital orders a week, they see a clear demand for technology that helps customers order more easily.
This personalized approach keeps people engaged, drives loyalty, and ultimately increases sales. Today, over half of their transactions come from people enrolled in MyPanera, one of the largest loyalty programs in the industry, with over 30 million members.
Red Robin offers some of the best burgers in America and its sales are very impressive. BusinessWire reports that its total revenue was a whopping $315.4 million in the second quarter of 2018.
The brand has approximately 450 locations throughout the U.S. and specializes in gourmet-yet-casual burgers and uses loyalty program to let customers build the habit of returning to the restaurant. If you make a purchase at Red Robin five times during your first five weeks of membership, you get a $20 reward that you can redeem on your 6th visit.
One of the biggest problems for F&B outlets is turning new customers into loyal regulars, even for an established chain like Red Robin. This offer lets customers build up the habit of going to the restaurant in the first few weeks of the program, setting down a pattern that will have them returning on the 7th, 8th, 9th visit and onwards.
Red Robin’s loyalty program also features personalized rewards for customers. They offer free burgers during a customer’s birthday. They can choose from over 24 gourmet burgers and during their birth month. They also offer special military rewards to those who served in the US military, as well as special rewards for teachers.
Yum China Holdings has been exploiting the power of its two most important brands — KFC and Pizza Hut — to drive growth. Further, the company is focused on unit expansion, menu innovation and technology to support revenue growth.
In 2016, over 80 million people signed up to their ‘Super App’ and just three years later, the brand now boasts in excess of 120 million members. What’s even more impressive and may also be the reason for its dramatic success, is the fact that the app has been designed not just for customer recognition and rewards (orders, payments, deliveries and e-gifts) in one seamless digital solution.
Fast food restaurant KFC recently had a high-tech makeover to better serve tech-savvy China. According to reports, business at some KFCs in China begins with customers scanning their faces at a kiosk, enabling them to order and pay for their food using facial recognition technology. Likewise, the facial recognition tech narrows down the menu options for the customers based on their gender, age and mood, making recommendations from the menu or offering customers an abbreviated menu.
Apart from making the fast food experience an almost entirely cashless exchange, the high-tech meal is topped off with a robotic arm that prepares ice cream cones for customers. Eventually, Yum China Holdings intends to expand facial recognition features to tailor personalized menu items to customers using artificial intelligence (AI) combined with previous ordering data collected from KFC and Pizza Hut loyalty programs.
For now, the high-tech makeovers have been limited to just a few hundred outlets out of the roughly 5,000 KFCs throughout China. Yet, the expectation is that the high-tech stores will grow in relation to demand and despite concerns for privacy and personal data use.
Leading French bakery and patisserie, PAUL UK, is launching its first mobile payment and loyalty app, available exclusively to UK customers.
The app, is free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play and will replace PAUL’s popular loyalty card ‘La Carte Noire’, allowing customers to collect reward points and receive tailored offers through their phones.
Through the mobile payment feature, PAUL UK will be able to capture fully anonymized customer data including the types of products they buy, as well as the timing and frequency of their visits, in order to generate personalized rewards and in-store experiences.
For every £1 spent using the PAUL UK App the customer will earn 100 points. Customers will be able to collect or exchange points for free items in-app only. PAUL UK will be gifting customers with 1,000 points upon download and rewarding customers with a refer a friend scheme. PAUL UK app customers will also be able to earn free hot drinks via the digital stamp card and be delighted with surprises based on customer behavior.
In the F&B sector, everything depends on how well you know your customers and how much data you use to create targeted loyalty offers. The more targeted offers you make, the wider range of customers you can appeal to with your loyalty program. If you want to learn how your brand can use loyalty program software - the built-in loyalty systems of Warply can be customized to your specific goals and needs.
The unique loyalty platform “Warply Engage” is fully upgraded to provide services as an all-in-one platform. In addition to the basic omni-channel features, the platform offers real time analytics, campaigning, Push notifications and Rich push notifications. The all-in-one "Warply Engage" plays a major role in the loyalty ecosystem, providing personalized solutions and incomparable user experience to customers, driven by innovation aiming to approach the modern consumer.