Best Restaurant Loyalty Programs, Coming Right Up!

Discussion in 'UsingMiles' started by UsingMiles, Oct 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. UsingMiles

    UsingMiles Z Representative

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    Picking up points for eating doughnuts? Homer Simpson’s gonna love this.

    But it’s true — some of the best restaurant loyalty programs around might be right around the corner, reports.


    The trade website for quick service restaurants — QSRs — notes that fast-food places like Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s and Starbucks have been sprinkling on increasingly sophisticated rewards programs lately.

    That’s traditionally been a struggle for low-priced restaurants whose customers frequently pay cash for their coffee, chicken nuggets or cheese fries.
    What’s different now?

    Mainly, says, the new programs track individual customers, not transaction data.

    “The sea change is that we are moving away from focusing on just transactions and instead thinking about the best way to build the customer relationship,” Joy Das Gupta, category manager for loyalty at Starbucks, explains in the website’s post. “What is the best way to reach customers and drive frequency with meaningful programs, offerings and incentives?”

    Starbucks pioneered QSRs loyalty programs back in 2008, and it’s still leading the way, industry leaders agree. But everybody else is well beyond paper punch cards now.


    Starbucks started with its prepaid gift cards. Now the company is using preloaded loyalty cards to track customer habits and anticipate what they’ll want next. Already, Starbucks reports that 25 percent of its transactions involve company-issued cards, according to

    Most QSRs push customers to websites to track or claim their rewards, which range from cash to crossover prizes from partnerships. Starbucks has arrangements with entertainment companies that allow rewards such as film screenings, while Tasti D-Lite offers free ice cream cones after 10 visits.

    Like the food, the learning curve is fast at QSRs, so contact us — we’ll give you the scoop.
    sobore and uggboy like this.
  2. dc3
    Original Member

    dc3 Silver Member

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    Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have great programs, but they are not exactly the place to have a good meal. Opentable rewards are generally marginal (100 points per reservation), but the 1000 point Opentable reservation equals $10, which is not bad at all. Best of all is a restaurant on Opentable and the Rewards Network - double dipping!
  3. DJP_707
    Original Member

    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    Actually some places get to triple dipping, opentable points, dining rewards, and credit card points/miles (some 2X)

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