For customers, it can be difficult to remain brand loyal in the food and drink industry. Like what we want for dinner on any given day, where you go to consume food and drink will depend a lot on your mood. Of course, you will have people who like to change up their eating habits. As the owner of a food and drink business, you want to find ways to make consumers see you as somewhere worth returning to again and again.

Providing the right incentive is most easily done with a comprehensive loyalty reward program. If a customer (whether wittingly or not) is using gamification to meet their eating needs, this provides opportunity to encourage repeat custom. When someone chooses what to eat, providing a reward or incentive means they might think with their wallet as much as their belly.

We’re going to take a look at some examples of how it is done right, so you can see if any might work for you.


The Twisted Hop – Hop Club

Some of the customer loyalty programs we have on this list are with the big dogs, but we want to start with something small. The Twisted Hop is a relatively small pub in Christchurch New Zealand which serves its customers the best ale around as well as providing top quality gastropub menus using local produce. It also has one of the best in class loyalty programs for small businesses.

Their loyalty program is known as the “Hop Club” where customers register for an account and are then issued a reward card. Every time a member pays their bill, 5% of that bill goes back into their account. The amount accrued is able to be spent in the pub. There are certain product exclusions and there is a fee when registering. However, it is worth repeat custom as you will end up with free products at the end of it. It’s almost like tipping yourself.

While the scheme is relatively limited in scope, it does have one big plus point. Customers are able to choose their own rewards. Other bars may reward you with a glass of a generic beer, but here you can choose your preferred tipple. Importantly, as it is a small community pub, it forges community further. This is the kind of small scale loyalty platform you can see working in action with every free pint pulled for a satisfied punter.


Domino’s Pizza

Top loyalty programs

Unsurprisingly for this multinational pizza slinging corporation, their community has a slightly greater reach. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have one of the best loyalty programs out there. While the card system still needs a customer loyalty program with a technological edge, Domino’s is doing it on a big scale.

By investing in app technology, they have incorporated their incentives into their purchase and delivery system. This means the reward is seen at the point of sale, i.e. the phone or device in the customer’s hand. One of the best aspects of this loyalty program is its simplicity, something reflected in the name of the scheme itself – Piece of the Pie Rewards.

You create an account anyway to order, buy and have your food delivered, so they provide the customer with minimum hassle. When you spend $10 or more on your order, you will receive 10 points. After you earn 60 points you receive a free pizza.

In 2017 there is also an added incentive which will certainly have an impact on customer loyalty. It is also a great example of how social media can impact your reward program. Customers who follow @Dominos on Twitter and/or Instagram had the chance to receive a check for $10,000 by simply posting a photo with the correct hashtag. Furthermore, 25 people who do the same will be selected to receive shares in the company. This is a very creative way to foster loyalty as well as market themselves globally across different platforms.

Bolocco Burritos

While big gun Chipotle has struggled introducing the right customer loyalty program to bolster sales after falling stock, one of the smaller wrap sellers is showing them how it’s done. After a successful run with a card system, the Massachusetts based restaurant chain managed to successfully cross over to an app based system.

Account holders are able to register on the app and create an account which allows them to receive rewards. These rewards can change, but they cover everything from free food and merchandise to the chance to win big in competitions. One big bonus of having the app rather than a card based loyalty platform is that you may forget your card in a different jacket, but you are much more likely to have you precious smartphone at hand.

Another great incentive is by offering a reward simply for signing up. $2 will be credited to your account when you register and this is at the very least a nice piece of good will to get you started. You will even be able to increase your VIBE (Very Important Burrito Eater) status the more you buy, meaning the rewards are based on a tier system. The more you buy, the more loyal you are as a customer and the greater the reward. It is unequivocally one of the best customer loyalty programs in the food and drink industry. It really makes us sad not to live in Boston.


DD Perks

best loyalty program

Something a littler more accessible is another global behemoth, this time in the area of donut provision. Dunkin’ Donuts offers one of the best large scale loyalty programs we have seen. Becoming a member is as simple as downloading the app which also allows you to pre-order and pay digitally to save time. When you sign up, you receive a free beverage right away as a thank you for doing so.

It also makes the loyalty program experience a little more personal by providing you free beverages on your birthday. There is a points based system and you are rewarded with free food and drink every 200 points earned.

However, it wouldn’t be one of the best loyalty programs in the food and beverage industry if it was left there. DD also offers special rewards and surprises every month just for being a member. These are limited only by the company’s imagination. Thinking what they might be will help you towards creating the right customer loyalty program for your business.


Do you want to learn how your company can replicate these loyalty programs? Set up a call with our loyalty experts through this link!


Toni Arco
CEO & Head of Growth
Toni, our CEO, is passionate about business growth through technology. He has founded 2 technology companies and spent over 6 years as CTO of digital marketing companies. He spends his time discovering the newest technology and applying trends to our own product and processes. He mentors tech start-ups and teaches courses on growth hacking to share his knowledge.

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