Gamification of the mobile rewards helped boosting customer loyalty for the restaurant chains

Gamification of the mobile rewards helped boosting customer loyalty for the restaurant chains

Gamification of the mobile rewards helped boosting customer loyalty for the restaurant chains

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The pandemic had put several eating and drinking establishments out of business. As per the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry sales volume declined in 2020 to reach the sales level recorded six years back in 2014. However, the Covid crisis made the operators get creative with new forays into technology to bring an opportunity for a rebound as consumers have pent-up demand.

On the other hand, food cost hikes, labor shortages and supply chain delays are squeezing restaurant operators to make effective marketing campaigns to get back in business. Therefore, the employment of the correct loyalty strategy made restaurants see significant growth in their businesses. For instance,

  • In May 2022, the United States-based fast-casual restaurant chain, Noodles & Company is gamifying the consumer experience on its mobile app to engage more members. Notably, the fast chain uses rewards points, limited-time offers and quick polls to connect with their customers, driving customer loyalty. Noodles & Company, located in more than 450 places, partnered with Movable Inc, a tech-based platform that develops content personalization solutions. Through this partnership, Movable Ink developed mobile campaigns to increase order frequency and engage the Noodle Rewards loyalty program members.

Movable Inc, particularly, provides a real-time email marketing platform that allows the companies to share current and relevant information with customers based on time, location, and context. This partnership helped the restaurant company observe a 9X gain in its click-through rate and thus, generated US$71 for every 100 emails the tech platform sent to customers, added with a promotion for Noodles Rewards.

The gamification of the user experience was done through several campaigns. For instance, the loyalty customers were asked through a poll to select their favorite offer out of four choices- free delivery, 50% off a regular entree, 15% off the entire order or $4 off any order of $15 or more. These gamified features helped the company know their loyal customers, thus getting a better understanding of individualized preferences and designing of promotions in the next quarters.

These campaigns help a restaurant gauge consumer response through mobile channels that helps in directly creating a connection to high-value customers. Starting from choosing one own reward to introducing new member challenges helps to identify and strategize accordingly with optimizations of digital and rewards programs.

The company, which witnessed a rise in its sales volume, with digital sales contributing to more than 50% of the total revenue, relies on various metrics to boost campaign effectiveness. The key indicators of mobile engagement are app downloads, monthly active users (MAUs) and efficiency of conversions throughout the purchase funnel. Since the company observed conversion through the mobile app is substantially higher than the other channels, injecting personalized app offers will help the company drive growth in business.

Data from PayNXT360 Consumer Survey revealed that more than 54% of the consumers are interested in shopping with restaurants that offer loyalty program rewards. This number is higher than online ordering and drive-thru pickup options. Personalization and loyalty are key factors to drive salea in the restaurant industry.

By studying consumer preference through the mobile app, the company rebranded in May 2022 through ‘Uncommon Goodness,’ a new exclusive offering for Noodles Rewards members, new team member benefits, and a new campaign.

The mobile strategy of the restaurant chain has turned out to be beneficial for engaging younger, tech-savvy consumers, including millennials and the Gen Z segment and together with their families with higher disposable income. In addition to it, gamified features helped the company understand its customers, thus, designing loyalty strategies accordingly. Importantly, the chain did not concentrate on one channel but an omnichannel approach to promote its app and rewards program. This has helped the company increase revenue, thus creating a competitive advantage when the industry saw a significant shift in customer preferences.

To know more and gain a deeper understanding of the United States loyalty programs market, click here.

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