Wendy’s has debuted its first loyalty program, Wendy’s Rewards, on its app. Fans can earn points by ordering through the app or scanning the QR code at a restaurant. Notably, ordering through a third-party delivery app does not qualify for rewards. Customers earn 10 points for every $1 spent, which can accrue to be redeemed on items including shakes, burgers, and fries. To build excitement around its newest offering, Wendy’s is doling out double points for customers’ first orders through the app to give them a head start.
Loyalty programs have become favorable tools for many brands, including Chipotle and Starbucks. Not only do loyalty programs increase app usage and drive return visits, but customers are more willing to exchange personal data for rewards according to a Gartner report, making it worthwhile for brands to invest in a program as a way to learn more about their audience. Wendy’s previously established digital ordering on its mobile app already led to customers spending extra and visiting more frequently, but the rollout of a rewards program could further incentivize customer retention.
The launch of Wendy’s Rewards could also bring in new customers, as 19% of restaurant consumers are willing to try a new place if it has a rewards program. The loyalty program could also encourage customers to order directly from Wendy’s app instead of from a delivery courier, such as UberEats or Grubhub, which have faced increased scrutiny for their relationships with restaurants during the pandemic. Wendy’s Rewards could also set it apart from its burger brand competitors, because many quick-service restaurants do not offer similar rewards features. Though McDonald’s app has slowly stepped up to the plate since the pandemic began, other brands like Burger King and In-N-Out Burger do not have a mobile program yet for U.S. customers or have no program at all.
Wendy’s new program allows it to finally reward loyal fans and encourage new customers to join its community. By rolling out the Wendy’s Rewards during the Coronavirus pandemic, Wendy’s can engage with customers for whom digital and app ordering has become a go-to, socially-distanced strategy, potentially helping it begin recovering from the economic strife the crisis caused.