Archive for the “Convenience Stores” Category

Restaurants and c-stores recognized for best loyalty programs have one thing in common – Paytronix

Paytronix-powered loyalty programs are among the best in the country at keeping customers happy, according to Newsweek‘s annual “America’s Best Loyalty Programs” rankings.

Newsweek’s independent survey of more than 4,000 loyalty program customers included those
for restaurants, retailers, and service providers. With over 20,000 evaluations collected, they based their final rankings on six criteria:

  1. Ease & Enjoyment – how much do customers like being in the program?
  2. Benefit – do customers think the rewards are worth it?
  3. Overall satisfaction – did the program fulfill customer expectations?
  4. Customer Support – how happy are customers with the way things are handled when
    something goes wrong?
  5. Trust – are customers alright with the way the loyalty program uses personal data?
  6. Recommendations – how likely are they to recommend the program to friends or family?

An impressive 13 Paytronix-powered brands made the Newsweek list:

Top Ranking Restaurants and C-Stores Using Paytronix:

Andy’s Frozen Custard

No membership fees, a free treat just for registering, bonus point offers – these are just a few of the ways Andy’s Frozen Custard has mastered keeping customers coming back, again and again.

Learn why rewarding your guests early on, providing point tracking, and other aspects of Andy’s model are crucial for a loyalty program to succeed here.

Peet’s Coffee

When Peet’s revamped its loyalty program to Peetnik Rewards, the company delivered on three important objectives: personalization, flexibility, and visibility. Customers can choose their reward, redeem it on their own time, and track their rewards – all from one mobile app platform so they can bring a piece of Peet’s wherever they go.

Bruster’s Real Ice Cream

Equally sweet (and real) as the ice cream at Buster’s are the rewards. Customers earn a point for every dollar spent at any participating Bruster’s location. And since ice cream is a reason to celebrate, Bruster offers a referral award along with a Birthday treat. There’s plenty more to the surprises, delights, and bankable points at Bruster’s.

Curious whether a program like theirs is right for your brand? Learn more here.

QDOBA

It’s okay to double dip at Qdoba – well, not like that. QDOBA’s recent revamp features a two-tiered loyalty program (foodie and chef) that offers more rewards (and queso dip) than ever. After visiting 12 or more times per year, “foodie” guests are upgraded to chef status and gain access to a ton of bonus points, mystery offers, and seasonal challenges.

P.F. Chang’s

When you earn a reward at P.F. Chang’s, they make sure it counts. Customers earn 10 points for every $1 spent and at 2,000 rewards points, customers receive a $15 credit to use on anything they want, from dim sum, to entrees, to dessert. Traveling for your Birthday? P.F. Chang’s prefers a birthday month – customers can redeem your complimentary dessert or appetizer at any point within the special month.

Learn more about what Birthday rewards programs can do for your brand here.

Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee is all about thinking ahead – from buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) orders to product sneak peeks, Caribou’s loyalty program is fully caffeinated and ready for what’s next. Customers earn 2 points per $1 spent on a great variety of products and loyalty members enjoy exclusive access to offers and birthday rewards.

California Pizza Kitchen

“An instant party for your tastebuds” says California Pizza Kitchen about its loyalty program offerings. With built-in incentives like free small plates for new registrants, California Pizza Kitchen has partied its way to the top.

Thinking a tiered automatic conversion program may be right for your brand? Learn more here.

Panera Bread

Panera is here for every kind of loyal customer. Panera veterans are impressed by the degree of personalization but kept on their toes with surprise offers. Businesses love the catering rewards, and for those who aren’t quite ready to jump into MyPanera appreciate a 3-month free trial to the “Free Coffee & Tea” subscription program.

Learn more about Panera’s subscription program here.

Einstein Bros. Bagels. 

Who doesn’t love free bagels? The Shmear Society rewards program at Einstein Bagels lets customers “eat the benefits,” by cashing in accrued points on rewards of their choice. And it all happens from an easy-to-use mobile app.

Jimmy John’s

Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards program rewards customers for “what they already do – eating sandwiches.” In a world of complex loyalty programs, Jimmy Johns keeps it simple fast with free sandwiches, sneak peeks at new menu items, and special promotions.

Learn how to optimize your loyalty program and begin driving revenue for your brand here.

Papa Murphy’s

Papa Murphy’s treats their loyal customers as “pizza insiders.” The brand’s MySLICE rewards program goes the extra mile to get to know customers, allowing them to save favorite orders and locations to make the next transaction even easier than the last.

Dutch Bros

You don’t have to Double Dutch your way to rewards at Dutch Bros. With attainable rewards conversions and contactless payments, Dutch Bros lets you win early on – and gives you stickers to show off.

Learn more about how contactless payments can smooth out your loyalty program.

MAPCO

Customers taking pit stops at MAPCO are winning the savings race. With MAPCO MY Reward$, customers save 3 cents on every gallon and can earn points both at the pump and in the store.

Learn how loyalty programs can help bring your convenience store to the next level here.

A top loyalty program is a sign that a brand values its top customers and knows what will keep them coming back.

Congratulations to these brands for putting their customers first, with Paytronix.

Our Favorite C-Store and Restaurant Mobile Apps

As 2021 comes to a close, the Paytronix team took a look at some of our favorite apps from restaurants and c-stores.

In its early days, order and delivery services were an indulgence, a treat for the occasional lazy night-in after a long workday. But during the pandemic, online delivery became a lifeline for people stuck at home, and a competitive edge for c-stores and restaurants. Now we’re entering the next phase with “ghost kitchens” and “dark stores” rising out of vacated storefronts that were once home to traditional mom and pop businesses. These stores operate virtually, fielding orders digitally, fulfilling them behind closed doors, and dispatching couriers within minutes. 

Today, mobile apps have become front and center for all brands, which means that restaurants and c-stores are transforming their apps to seamlessly integrate all of their services into a single touch-and-go hub. These services include:

  • Loyalty programs
  • NFC and in-app payments
  • Multi-channel messaging
  • Geo-tracking
  • Customizations such as product favorites and re-order capabilities

Experience is everything. A successful app captures the essence of your brand and delivers your services to customers in seamless and exciting ways.

 

 
Our favorite apps from c-stores and restaurants

OUR FAVORITE APPS
FROM C-STORES AND RESTAURANTS

Alltown Fresh
Buona Beef
Family Express
Panera
Parker's
Peet's Coffee
Qdoba
United Dairy Farmers
Pizzeria Uno
Yesway
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Our favorite apps from c-stores and restaurants
Alltown Fresh
Buona Beef
Family Express
Panera
Parker's
Peet's Coffee
Qdoba
United Dairy Farmers
Pizzeria Uno
Yesway
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next arrow

Using data to emerge as the Halloween Hero

Every year the competition is on: which house is going to give out the best stuff at Halloween? Not everyone can be the legendary one that gives out full-sized candy bars. And then there are the folks that go all out with decorations, creating a haunted experience that rivals Disney. And let’s face it, you’re not going to be the Red Sox catcher who gave out autographs when facing an empty candy bowl. […]

Getting More Dollars from Your Data (or How to Compete with a Ghost) 

Remaining competitive in the digital space means leveraging data to boost your business at every opportunity. You might be surprised to learn just how much actionable information is at your fingertips if you know how to mine the data available to you.  

For the convenience store operator looking to stand out from the competition, data can answer some key questions: Who is your competition, and how can you overcome their strategies to own the customer? 

I recently had the chance to address a wonderful crowd at the Outlook Leadership Conference about this very issue. 

Who is your competition? 

Calculating how to best compete begins with knowing who you are competing against. You can start by putting yourself in the place of the customer along the customer journey. A customer has a need and undertakes a search to fill it. The search can be a neighborhood walk, a driving search or, increasingly, an online search.​ 

Not long ago I tried this myself. I looked on Yelp for fuel near me and found 10 locations – but a closer look revealed only four competitors since many carry the same flag. Similarly, a search for coffee brought up 86 locations. And a broader search for food gave me a whopping 130 locations within two miles – and when I switched over to Doordash and Grubhub another 36 locations showed up that weren’t on Yelp.  

But wait. Why do DoorDash and Grubhub have listings that aren’t on Yelp? Well, some of those are “ghost kitchens.” This is a term that’s cropped up a lot lately and one that is having a major impact on any company dealing with delivery. I discovered two brands I had never seen before Guy Fieri’s flavortown kitchen and Mr. Beast Burger. It turns out they are virtual brands where you can only buy their food through delivery services (no dine-in) and the food is prepared in the kitchen of a well-known Italian chain Bertucci’s.   

Three types of Ghost Kitchens are currently flourishing: Virtual brands like Guy Fieri’s; restaurants that are growing into new regional markets and trying out new brands; and third-party aggregators themselves, like DoorDash and Uber Eats. This means you have actually been battling for customers against competitors you couldn’t even see unless you went looking in your phone. That kind of competition calls for a significant digital strategy on your part. 

How can you compete? 

How can any brand compete on the delivery marketplaces when there are 166 listings within a 2 mile radius?  What will it take to get to the top of search listings? It seems some brands are stacking the deck with ghost kitchens so they show up if you search for “Italian,” or “chicken” or “burgers.” This seems like a daunting task for any brand. What makes more sense is to change the rules to a game that is easier to understand, control and measure; you should own the customer. 

How can you own the customer? 

Now you know who you are competing with – and everyone is in a fight to own the customer. Fortunately, the data behind the most successful brands tells us their secrets.  

  • Anchor with a Strong Loyalty Program. Adhere to the key design principles of loyalty programs. Keep the program simple. Make it easy to enroll and easy to understand the program, track your points, and see daily deals and limited time offers. This will give you the insight and information you need to create the programs that keep customers coming back.  
  • Hone Your Ordering Strategy. Implement first-party ordering​ with a website and mobile app – but use third-party aggregators for delivery and customer acquisition​. A first-party system gives you complete control while also enabling you to keep the customer information. Also important is to offer a choice of fulfillment. Today’s customers expect the option to choose from takeout, curbside, or delivery.  
  • Make Payment Easy. Ensure a painless payment process whether your customer is in person, visiting your online store, or ordering via mobile app. Leveraging Apple Pay and Google Payments (which is currently fee-free) can mean high conversion rates, speedy checkouts, and few errors. You also want to integrate your loyalty program with ordering so people can easily earn and redeem rewards. 
  • Personalize through Artificial Intelligence​. AI can do incredible things, when used properly. We focus on what we call AI to IAsm, that is, using artificial intelligence to drive individual action. It can help you target the best times for reaching out and recapturing lapsed customers and can even predict a lapse before it happens. It can help you identify the best day of the week for offers and discounts – without compromising profits or traffic. And it can tailor campaigns to your individual guests based on their behavior.  

Today’s marketplace is a double-edged sword – the pressure on businesses to compete with data and tech is higher than ever, but emerging tools are giving you the means to do so.  

Do you have questions about how you can better leverage data to benefit your business? Paytronix would love to hear from you. Get in touch today.