At $8.99 per month, the MyPanera Coffee subscription gives customers unlimited coffee or hot tea for the price of about four cups of coffee. This program exemplifies how smart, forward-thinking brands are embracing subscription models.
Subscription programs tend to operate in one of these three ways:
Recurring payments – As with the Panera program, subscribers pay for a given time period. Cancellation can occur at any time.
Lump-sum payment with time-bound usage – The industry standard is Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass, which allows unlimited meals for nine weeks. Limiting the number of passes sold provides customers with a sense of exclusivity.
Lump-sum payment with limited times or items – An example is the Grill Pass offered by HuHot Mongolian Grill. Last summer, loyalty members could spend $50, $100, or $200 to buy 5, 11, or 25 meals.
Promotions are used to directly, quickly, and profitably change behavior. Most commonly, that behavior change falls into one of these categories: driving more visits, encouraging people to purchase at a time they normally would not, or inspiring more profitable bulk purchases.
The most common types of promotions are challenges, bonuses, and occasion based rewards.
Challenges. These promotions challenge reward members to perform actions to earn a prize. For example, a challenge could be “buy gas five times this month and get a free large coffee” or “spend $50 on snack items this week and get a free liter of soda.” These challenges are intended to increase visits and spend during a specified period of time.
Bonuses. These promotions often offer an instant benefit for the rewards member. “Purchase a sandwich and a large soda and get a bag of chips for free” is one example. Bonuses are primarily designed to increase spending during a visit, but secondly, they may also increase the number of visits since customers could seek to take advantage of a bonus multiple times.
Occasion-based rewards. These promotions are dependent on a time of year, such as the holiday season, or a well-known event. An example of an occasion-based reward could be “purchase two bags of chips and get a liter of soda for free during the week leading up to the Big Game.” […]
In case you missed it, there was a common theme among publicly held restaurant chains’ July earnings calls: Loyalty Programs. Multiple brand leaders spent a portion of their calls celebrating their loyalty programs, unequivocally stating that the programs are indeed impacting the value of the respective organizations, and that the programs are providing a competitive advantage.
Even Chipotle, a brand that has been a notorious, non-believer in loyalty programs, noted the value in the data they received from their short-term visit challenge promotion, Chiptopia. The promotion resembles the tip of the spear for a longer-term program. Below is a recap of the notable loyalty program mentions. But first, here’s an executive summary of the highlights:
Bloomin’ Brands expects a 1% – 2% lift in sales as a result of rolling out its rewards program system wide, per CEO Liz Smith.
Dominos on its loyalty program: “All of this outstanding brand momentum helped us grow diluted EPS by 21% over the prior year quarter. Our recently launched loyalty program contributed significantly to our traffic gains,” said CFO Jeff Lawrence
Starbucks’ Howard Shultz stated, “Our loyalty program is the cornerstone of our digital flywheel, noting that the program now has over 19 million Starbucks Reward members…”
Panera Bread’s president Andrew Madsen said, “Let’s talk about loyalty. Our MyPanera loyalty program now sits at 23 million members that represent nearly 50% of our transactions and the program is growing. In addition, MyPanera users are very loyal with double the visit frequency of our nonmember customers. We believe this is by far the largest loyalty program in the industry and a significant competitive advantage.”
Chipotle Mexican Grill is encouraged by the level of data being mined from the Chiptopia loyalty promotion and will use it to further understand the behavior of its most loyal guests before the promotion, during the promotion and post promotion.
The Paytronix team was on site in Chicago earlier this week at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show. Similar to last year’s event, the show was chock-full of restaurant brands, vendors, and of course: food. The bustling energy on the floor inspired us during the four-day event as we shared our customer engagement expertise and swapped stories with other attendees. We were especially grateful to have the opportunity to lead a speaking session with one of our clients, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE).
Lee Barnes, Head of Customer Insights at Paytronix, led the session ‘Lessons from Loyalty Program Experts’ alongside Michael Lynch, Director of Loyalty Marketing at LEYE. Barnes is a self-professed data geek who can optimize any loyalty program. Lynch has over 20 years of experience building and managing loyalty programs. With their combined experience, expertise, and wit, this dynamic duo made quite an impression on the 200+ session attendees. In case you missed out, here are the top 5 takeaways from their presentation: […]