Last night the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-91 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. As a result, I’ll be watching Game 2 at Buffalo Wild Wings.
The last time I visited the chicken wing/sports bar concept I played the Spin & Win game on the Blazin’ Rewards app. This is a gamified component of the brand’s loyalty program and members like myself have an opportunity to play every time they visit during the NBA postseason. Each visit allows one “spin” in the app. Every spin reveals a team with an upcoming playoff game. If that team wins its next game, the guest earns 100 bonus points towards a reward.
When I played during a lunch visit earlier in the week, my spin landed on the Warriors. When they won last night, I earned 100 points, giving me enough currency to earn a free entrée. Now I can’t wait to go back for Game 2 this weekend so I can redeem my reward and play again to give myself a shot at 100 more points. […]
There’s an interesting problem that restaurants with loyalty programs face. All of the behavioral data gleaned from these programs means that restaurants can easily identify their best customers: the people who spend the most and visit most frequently. And that’s very useful for creating profitable campaigns.
Running unsegmented promotions can cannibalize profit because your best guests will receive the same promotion as your less frequent customers. Your best guests are going to come in anyway, and discounting purchases they were already going to make can hurt profits.
Discounts and promotions designed to drive revenue should only […]
For a quite a while, Chipotle executives didn’t believe loyalty programs were for them. In fact, Mark Crumpacker, CCO/CDO of Chipotle, said in September 2015*, “We don’t believe the general supposition that loyalty will make less frequent customers more frequent.”
However, from the fourth quarter of 2015 into the early second quarter of 2016, Chipotle had a few health scares that contributed to its stock prices — and sales — to take a tumble.
In summer 2016, Chipotle was ready to rethink its stance on loyalty programs and launched its Chiptopia Summer Rewards, a three-month tiered loyalty program.
It’s reasonable to assume, based on the structure of the program (that we’ll cover next) and the business challenges they were experiencing, that
Chipotle’s motivation in creating its loyalty program was to increase visits.
Note: Before we go any further, we want to make it clear that Chipotle is not a client of Paytronix. This blog post is designed to analyze the Chiptopia program, share what worked and what didn’t, and help you think — or rethink — your own loyalty program.
The Chipotle Loyalty Program Structure: How It Worked
Do you need to reinvigorate your brand, increase revenue, and improve profitability? Upgrading your rewards program may help. However, proceed with caution. Upgrade only when you know the new program will better align the program with corporate strategic goals and likely produce large financial benefits.
There is never a perfect time to change your program. When clear signs arise, give a program upgrade serious consideration. Look for any of these four signs:
1. Declining loyalty penetration and new member enrollment. If the share of checks associated with your loyalty program is declining, it could signify that tenured members are lapsing and that the program is no longer motivating them to come in. If new member enrollment is down, it could be because new guests are not interested in the program or that team members in the store have stopped promoting it.
Your program should achieve a minimum of 15 percent loyalty penetration. This means at least 15 percent of your checks should be associated with the loyalty program, and according to many top brands, their loyalty penetration numbers far exceed the 15 percent benchmark. For example, in an July 2016 earnings call, Panera president Drew Madsen said that 50 percent of company transactions were associated with the My Panera program. If you notice your loyalty penetration rate dropping, and particularly if it dips below 15 percent, it may be time for a change.
2. Evidence that customers are “gaming” the program to their advantage. Have customers figured out a loophole in your program that they use to their advantage? Is your visit-based program increasing the number of split checks, and slowing down operations? Are customers buying low-priced items to earn points, and then redeeming them for expensive items? […]