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Mooyah Burgers, Jersey Mike’s leaders share loyalty program suggestions| Quick Informal Government SummitPizza Market

As meals costs proceed to climb so does the worth of a restaurant loyalty program, for each the shopper and the model.

| by Judy Mottl — Editor, RetailCustomerExperience.com & FoodTruckOperator.com

In itemizing out frequent dominators amongst restaurant manufacturers, one of many first to pop to thoughts could be creating and sustaining a loyal buyer.

That is as a result of loyal clients are gold for a model on the subject of income and free advertising.

However constructing a loyal fan base, and rising that fan base, requires each technique and the flexibility to adapt, be versatile, and, most significantly, perceive a buyer’s wants and needs.

The loyalty program technique, in addition to what has confirmed profitable, was the subject of a panel speak, “Constructing an Urge for food for Loyalty,” on the Quick Informal Government Summit held final month in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is considered one of a number of business occasions organized by Networld Media Group, the guardian firm of Fastcasual, Pizza Market and QSRweb.

The annual three-day Quick Informal Government Summit occasion attracts executives from main manufacturers around the globe. The media firm’s subsequent occasion is the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit being held March 20-23, 2023, in Coral Gables, Florida.

Collaborating within the panel, sponsored by Vericast, and moderated by Cherryh Cansler, VP of occasions and editor of Fastcasual.com for Networld Media Group, have been Rob Crews, restaurant business technique director for brand spanking new enterprise and account administration, restaurant manufacturers at Vericast; Jeff Hemschoot, VP of promoting at Jersey Mike’s franchise programs and Doug Willmarth, president at Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes.

The loyalty technique

“Once we speak about loyalty it is about driving frequency and shifting clients alongside that frequency continuum,” mentioned Crews, kicking off the one-hour dialogue.

“In beginning considered one of these do not attempt to boil the ocean. Simply sort of get going. You do not have to get it proper off the bat,” he suggested, including that manufacturers ought to begin with one thing however understand how they need to set it up (loyalty factors or shock and delight choices). “Leap in, small take a look at, there’s plenty of take a look at and study.”

At Jersey Mike’s, at present’s loyalty program and technique are fairly totally different than it was 14 years in the past when clients held punch playing cards on the register. Hemschoot, who’s been in his advertising position since 2008 when the sandwich model had between 230 to 240 areas, has seen large development round loyalty and describes increase the loyalty program “as thrilling and a great experience.”

The model, which now has 2,300 shops, launched its preliminary loyalty app in 2012 with a quite simple strategy because it was all factors primarily based.

The app was do-it-yourself, as was the POS it built-in with, because the model is bullish on funding spending.

“One thing I am going to most likely say 5 instances at present — maintain every thing so simple as doable. On the finish of day all we would like is for the buyer to rapidly order and fasten loyalty to that and drive that frequency and incremental visits,” mentioned Hemschoot.

Six years later the app was up to date and, simply as COVID-19 hit, it was enhanced in early 2020 to supply supply service functionality.

“So we have been poised and caught some little bit of luck alongside the best way,” mentioned Hemschoot.

The model’s app has 22 million app downloads and 24 million subscribers to its factors account.

“It is a testomony to our crew members and our house owners,” he added.

At Mooyah Burgers the loyalty technique is a bit totally different given the model’s smaller dimension, defined Willmarth, who’s been in his position for a few 12 months.

“As a smaller model it is necessary to leverage confirmed out-of-the-box know-how and be sure to have companions which have a very strong platform you possibly can faucet into as a result of we do not have a group of six to seven to customise and implement,” mentioned Willmarth.

The model leverages Punchh know-how which plugs into the POS that was additionally developed internally.

“The communication element may be very crucial,” mentioned Willmarth. “With a loyalty program it’s a must to give individuals a cause (to hitch) and ours relies on tried-and-true legacy possibility of earn factors and get money and we’re within the strategy of attempting to rethink that so we’re at an attention-grabbing time in our program.”

Driving loyalty app downloads

Launching a loyalty app, nevertheless, is simply the primary necessary step. An app, in any case, has no worth if nobody is utilizing it so the technique should embrace a profitable strategy to get clients engaged and turning into an app person.

At Jersey Mike’s the technique is multi-pronged. The model does fairly a bit of promoting by its digital belongings and communicates to friends by textual content and electronic mail blasts.

“We use all these channels to proceed to push downloads and any sort of occasion advertising — something exterior of TV [such as] fundraising — something the place we are able to inform clients there’s a simple solution to obtain,” mentioned Hemschoot.

“We do crew incentive applications as nicely and that engages the crew they usually’re excited by it. There are not any money prizes however model merch, headphones, gear.”

One helpful aspect within the model’s loyalty strategy is its factors incentive and that is why its app advertising contains providing double factors, possibly as soon as a month.

“Like clockwork, we see 15% improve in gross sales the following day [after the monthly double points offer]. We’ve got a quite simple technique that the shopper understands,” mentioned Hemschoot.

At Mooyah Burger’s the strategy to driving loyalty app downloads is tied to the way it views its loyalty program general.

“The app is a crucial a part of the loyalty program however the loyalty program just isn’t the app. What we’re seeking to do is have interaction with individuals the place they’re to deepen the connection and it really works for us,” mentioned Willmarth.

“We attempt to have a devoted instances of 12 months the place we’re targeted on [app] acquisition corresponding to shopper dealing with contests — like free fries for downloading the app after which having a companion program that runs contest for the shops and group members, so that they have an opportunity to win one thing too,” mentioned Willmarth.

He used an analogy of a human relationship to explain his model’s loyalty app and buyer relationship.

“Acquisition, the place the only message is ‘hey would you wish to obtain our app,’ is form of like leaping straight to ‘hey we’re in a relationship’ earlier than we have had our first date. We strategy loyalty on two ranges, group member loyalty and buyer loyalty, and that is important as crew member retention is so necessary proper now.”

The shock and delight loyalty strategy

Many manufacturers undertake a typical aspect within the loyalty technique — informally coined as “shock and delight,” through which this system provides up one thing unexpectedly within the quest to drive deeper loyalty and engagement and spur the shopper to share the shock/delight with family and friends and colleagues.

The “shock and delight” at Jersey Mike’s is not an enormous technique at this level, mentioned Hemschoot, although the model does a double factors day.

“Past that a few of the different issues that we do is a tailgate tour the place we went to 14 faculties all through soccer season with a makeshift retailer, enjoyable actions, quiz video games,” he mentioned, including “we’ll be wanting to a couple totally different gamification issues that is shut as we get to any sort of shock and delight.”

For Mooyah Burgers the shock/delight side can be not entrance and middle and is considered extra as a layer so as to add onto a loyalty program, mentioned Willmarth.

“I feel it is as a result of we’re utilizing loyalty in the beginning as a communication platform and I feel that’s one thing it’s essential to be serious about. In loyalty, your clients are providing you with permission to speak to them about issues which might be necessary to you, and it turns into your least expensive solution to get significant information out to your finest clients.”

Providing double factors or free fries or the chance to win one thing are facets to be layered onto the loyalty program, Willmarth mentioned.

“We’re attempting to be extra of a quality-based experiential model so a few of the issues we’ve tried to tie into the app are extra of issues within the experiential space,” he mentioned, noting the model’s declaration of nationwide French fry month and providing as soon as in a lifetime expertise corresponding to staying on the Idaho Potato fee potato lodge.

“Folks beloved it. It is an instance of how we’re utilizing the platform to get model info on the market to individuals we all know and who like us,” he mentioned.

“If you do not have a loyalty program at present it’s a must to decide what are your targets for this system and the way are you going to realize ROI as a result of it’ll be a dedication. As soon as you have rolled out a loyalty program, they’re very tough to roll again. You actually need to be sure to’ve acquired eyes vast open on what it’s essential to see, what do it’s essential to guarantee this will probably be a great funding.”

Judy Mottl is editor of Retail Buyer Expertise and Meals Truck Operator. She has a long time of expertise as a reporter, author and editor overlaying know-how and enterprise for prime media together with AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews.


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